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Law Enforcement shieldThree Drowning Recoveries in New Hampshire

Officials Urge Caution When Recreating Near Waterways

Details of three drowning recoveries in New Hampshire during the past week are posted below. Given the recent rainfall, and the level of the rivers and currents, extreme caution is urged when recreating on rivers.


CONTACT: Fish and Game Conservation Officer Heidi Murphy: 603-271-3361; or Boscawen Police Department, Kevin S. Wyman, Chief: (603)753-9123

BOSCAWEN, N.H. -- On Sunday, July 7, 2013, NH Fish and Game Dive Team recovered the body of Daron Graham, 20, of Penacook, at a popular swimming area on the Merrimack River in Boscawen, not far from the Hannah Duston Monument.

The previous afternoon (July 6), Graham went into the river and had trouble swimming. Boscawen Fire, Penacook Rescue, Concord Fire, and the Boscawen Police Department responded and began a preliminary search on the river's edge and in the water, but were unable to locate Graham. Fish and Game, along with NH Marine Patrol, responded and coordinated a recovery for the following day (July 7).

The US Army Corps of Engineers assisted the recovery effort by lowering the downstream river level so that the divers could operate more safely.

Given the recent rainfall, and the level of the rivers and currents, extreme caution is urged when recreating on the rivers.

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CONTACT: Sgt. Scott LaCrosse (603) 271-3361

–  New Hampshire Fish and Game Department divers recovered the body of a fisherman from the waters of the Merrimack River in Concord on July 5, 2013.

Gary Lacroix, age 59, of Concord, NH, was fishing on the Merrimack River in Concord near Sewall’s Falls.  According to witnesses, Lacroix was fishing from the bank of the river when he spotted a plastic bag floating down the river, he began wading into the river to retrieve the bag.  When he was approximately 60 feet from shore, Lacroix came across a three foot dropoff in the river.  He was unable to get back to shore and went below the surface of the water, and did not resurface.

At approximately 2:05 PM, Concord Fire Department, Concord Police Department, NH Marine Patrol and NH Fish and Game Department Law Enforcement were notified of the incident.  Concord Fire Department and NH Marine Patrol personnel conducted shoreline searches of the immediate area, but were unable to locate Lacroix. 

NH Fish and Game dive team members began diving in the area at 5:25 PM and were able to locate Lacroix’s body at 5:39 PM in the area in which witnesses had seen him go below the surface of the water.

With the recent heavy rainfall, the rivers are running much higher and faster than they normally are this time of the year.  Anyone recreating on the water should use extra caution and wear a personal floatation device.

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CONTACT:  Sgt. Brian Abrams:  603-271-3361

CONCORD, N.H. -- On July 2, 2013, at 3:15 PM, a 911 call was made reporting an emergency on the Swift River in Albany, NH.  A group of family and friends had stopped at the popular picnic and swimming area known as Lower Falls.  The area is within the White Mountain National Forest on the Kancamagus Highway.  Two women waded into the water 200 meters above the falls, slipped and were swept downriver and over the falls. 

Sanamaran Keo, age 50, from Dracut, MA, clung to a rock 300 meters below the falls.  She was rescued by Conway Fire's Swift Water Rescue Team.  Sophal Hak, age 56, from Lowell, MA, was swept almost two miles downstream.  She was located by a US Forest Service searcher at 4:19 PM.  The Conway Fire Swift Water Rescue Team made recovery, and the cause of death is being determined by the NH State Medical Examiner’s Office. 

A total of 31 personnel from  Conway Fire Department, North Conway Fire Department, US  Forest Service,  Carroll County Sheriff's Department, New Hampshire State Police and New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Conservation Officers worked together on the search and rescue mission.

Fish and Game is urging everyone to use extreme caution around streams and rivers throughout the state until water levels return to normal. Colonel Garabedian of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department stated the following: "We understand that it's tempting to seek out the waterways to cool off from the summer heat, but we strongly advise everyone to use the greatest caution possible around rivers and streams -- the current and water levels are much stronger and faster than they usually would be at this time of year. They are at flood-stage level stream flows in some parts of the state. People need to be smart and stay away from them for now. If you want to go swimming, please go to a designated beach."

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NH Fish and Game Dept.
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Concord, NH 03301

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