NEWBURYPORT — Officials recovered a body in the water near the North End Boat Club on Sunday night that is believed to be a 33-year-old man reported missing Saturday night.
Newburyport police, the U.S. Coast Guard and Massachusetts State Police searched the grounds of the boat club on Saturday night and sent divers into the water near the docks Sunday morning to look for Kevin Mahoney of Newbury, who was reported missing by his girlfriend.
After extensive search-and-rescue efforts Sunday, officials found a body believed to be that of Mahoney about 5:20 p.m.
Mahoney, of 19 20th St., would have turned 34 this week. He was last seen on the docks at the boat club about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, but wasn’t reported missing until 7:27 p.m. Saturday. Mahoney’s car, boat, medications and belongings were at the boat club, according to the police log.
City Marshal Mark Murray said Sunday morning that Mahoney was last seen by witnesses early Saturday.
Mahoney’s girlfriend, a Newburyport woman, reported him missing about 18 hours later, at which point Newburyport police officers began searching the grounds and docks of the boat club off Merrimac Street.
Murray said the Coast Guard also was notified but decided a search of the water wasn’t feasible until dawn Sunday, when a USCG helicopter and 47-foot surf rescue boat from Coast Guard Station Merrimack River joined the effort at 6:30 a.m.
Murray said divers from the Newburyport Police Department and state police were searching around the docks.
The Massachusetts Environmental Police, Newburyport Fire Department and Newburyport harbormaster were also part of search-and-rescue efforts.
“This is where he was last seen,” Murray said. “It was told to us he was out on the dock and that he was intoxicated.”
Murray said that late Friday or early Saturday, Mahoney was with his girlfriend and went off on his own.
“We don’t know what the reason was,” Murray said. “There was some kind of confrontation between the two and they split up.
“We have a witness who said he went down to the dock. He was intoxicated, we were told. A lot of things happen on the docks,” Murray said.
Murray and Harbormaster Paul Hogg, who was also at the boat club during the search Sunday, said divers had been in the water searching but had to be pulled out to wait for slack tide, which was about 1 p.m. At least two divers took turns searching under the docks, a warren of mooring chains.
“With the clarity of the water and current, and there are a lot of chains under the docks, it’s very dangerous” for divers, the marshal said.
After the body was found Sunday night, Murray thanked everyone involved in the search effort.
“At this time, I would like to send my condolences to Mr. Mahoney’s family, friends and loved ones,” he said.
The investigation continues and is being conducted by the Newburyport Police Department and state police assigned to Essex District Attorney’s Office. The state medical examiner’s office will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death.