Sailor’s body found in Malletts Bay

By Jason Starr
The Colchester Sun
Brian Webb

Brian Webb

The Colchester Police Marine Unit located the body of Brian Webb in Malletts Bay in the area of the International Sailing School at roughly 7:45 a.m. Wednesday. The body was transported to the office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Burlington to determine the cause of death.

Colchester police and rescue crews have been investigating Webb’s unexplained disappearance since Saturday. A Montpelier resident, Webb lived part-time during summers on a boat anchored in Malletts Bay.

Webb, 65, was a regular at Rozzi’s Lakeshore Tavern and Restaurant on West Lakeshore Drive and was last seen having dinner there about 7 p.m. Saturday night.

Police reported receiving a call about 9:25 that night of a man yelling for help on West Lakeshore Drive. A search of the area did not turn up anyone in distress, police reported, according to a statement released Sunday.

Webb’s disappearance was first reported by his wife in Montpelier on Sunday morning.

Webb’s dinghy was found Monday floating near rocks on the east side of Marble Island, according to Colchester Police Lt. Doug Allen. Webb’s sailboat was docked in the center of the bay near the International Sailing Center.

“We were hoping it would narrow our search, but it widened it,” Allen said of the dingy discovery.

Colchester Technical Rescue deployed dive teams Monday morning to search the lake bottom in the area of Webb’s sailboat. They also employed a “side-scanning sonar” device on loan from the New York State Police, Allen said.

Rozzi’s owner Jaime Rozzi said Webb was a regular for dinner at the tavern. He would travel back and forth from his sailboat to shore on the dinghy and walk to the restaurant. The only abnormality was that Webb paid cash that night instead of using his typical credit card, according to Rozzi’s staff.

Rozzi said he planned to review Saturday evening’s video footage from the camera that is trained on the bar for any clues to the disappearance.

“Everyone here is pretty upset about it,” Rozzi said Tuesday. “He was a really great guy, a smart guy, and everyone liked him…”

Webb was a native New Zealander and longtime conductor with the Vermont Philharmonic, according to a report Tuesday in the Burlington Free Press. He continued to work as a college professor of the arts, according to the report.


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