Lights from marine units searching for two missing boaters off Cockenoe Island can be seen in the distance from Compo Beach on Sunday night. / Photos by Thane Grauel
Norwalk police marine unit returns to South Norwalk dock after assisting search-and-rescue operations for small boat that sank off Cockenoe Island on Sunday.

WESTPORT — Police were searching for two people reported missing in waters off Cockenoe Island on Sunday night after rescuing three others whose small boat sank during a blustery afternoon on Long Island Sound.

A boater alerted police about 4 p.m. Sunday that a man was found clinging to a navigational buoy near the island, while another man and woman were pulled from the water nearby, according to a statement from police spokesman Lt. Eric Woods at 7 p.m. Sunday.

The trio was transported to a marina in Norwalk, and then to the hospital for treatment.

Police, who had to call in a translator to communicate with the rescued individuals, subsequently learned that two more people were on the boat when it sank and were still missing.

The Westport police marine unit was assisted in the continuing search Sunday night for the two missing boaters and their vessel by units from the Coast Guard, Norwalk fire and police marine units, the Fairfield police marine division and the Suffolk County Air Unit.

A Coast Guard spokesman said that in addition to a marine unit from the Eaton’s Neck station on Long Island, a helicopter and airplane from Cape Cod were deployed to help with the search.

Water temperatures in the Sound are about 61 degrees, which can put people at peril in as little as two hours.

Westport police ask that any boaters who were in the area between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. contact them at 203-341-6000.