A Westport publisher died early today after apparently falling at Norwalk Cove Marina, police said.
William Schnirring, 65, was chairman and CEO of New York-based Associated Business Publications International, which publishes trade magazines for the aeronautics and exporting industries.
Police found Schnirring floating face down near his boat, Glad Spirit, at about 2:30 a.m., police reports said.
Paramedics spent at least a half hour trying to revive him before he was taken to Norwalk Hospital and declared dead.
Schnirring’s wife, Melissa, told The Hour newspaper that she does not know why her husband went to the marina so early in the morning. She said a friend had dropped him off at a Norwalk restaurant earlier in the evening.
Marina workers said they heard he may have been on the dock, fell and hit his head, and ended up in the water.
The Schnirrings live in the Saugatuck Shores area. They have been Westport residents 11 years after having spent 20 years in Weston.
Police said the cause of Schnirring’s death remains under investigation. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.
In addition to his business ventures, Schnirring, who preferred to be called Bill, was passionate about railroad commuter issues affecting him and other riders of Metro-North.
In the early 1980s, he led a petition drive to preserve the bar cars on Metro-North.
Schnirrings outspokenness was clear in a posting in April on the popular Bar Car Web site dealing with bar car and commuter issues.
Addressed to the siteҒs editor, Westporter Tom Skinner, Schnirring wrote: As you well know, the bar cars are not just a more efficient use of space than normal cars, they actually contribute extra revenue to Metro-North.
ӓYou and I have tried to explain that to the twits who have done their best to ruin an institution that not only gives pleasure to many, but also contributes revenue and jobs.
Schnirring is also survived by his son, Luke, also of Westport, who worked with his father at the publishing company.
Update (9/29/03): The state medical examiner ruled Monday that Schnirring’s death by drowning was accidental.