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Ramesh Mali slipped from sight at about noon as he swam with two c

July 7, 1995

MADISON, Conn. (AP) _ Ramesh Mali slipped from sight at about noon as he swam with two countrymen in an unguarded section of a beach on Long Island Sound.

By the end of the day Thursday, there was still no sign of the 21-year-old Special Olympian from Nepal.

The Coast Guard kept their boats on the water through the night, using spotlights to search the surface. Officials from the state Department of Environmental Protection and state police remained at the scene.

Divers were to resume searching for Mali today. As many as 35 assisted in the rescue effort Thursday, the last two being pulled out about 10:30 p.m.

Mali, a soccer player who came to Connecticut to compete in the Special Olympics World Games, was on a recreational outing at Hammonasett State Park with a group of fellow athletes from Nepal when he disappeared.

The massive search by boats, helicopters, divers and scores of volunteers failed to find him by late Thursday and as the hours passed, initial hopes seemed to fade.

``The longer it takes, the chances of reviving him grow slimmer,″ said state police Sgt. Dale Hourigan.

Mali was last seen in chest-deep water at low tide shortly before 12:30 p.m. Thursday.

``A woman on the beach and some Special Olympic athletes were out there swimming and said they saw a person go down and didn’t come up,″ said Todd Rainey, director of beach operations.

Authorities also searched on land in case Mali, dressed in black shorts and a white T-shirt, had wandered ashore.

The Coast Guard dispatched a cutter and about a dozen other boats to the scene. Five helicopters also assisted in the search.

The Special Olympics World Games, which is attracting over 7,000 athletes from around the world, is being held this week in New Haven and surrounding communities. Madison is 16 miles east of New Haven, the main site of competition in the Games, most of whose participants are mentally retarded.

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