Capt. Martin Garabedian: (603) 271-3361
Maj. Tim Acerno: or 271-3129
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
August 4, 2008

Search Continues for Possible Swift River Drowning Victim

CONCORD, N.H. - A search continues today for a possible drowning victim in the Swift River, in the town of Albany, N.H.  On Sunday afternoon (August 3, 2008) David Hildebrandt, age 29, of Dorchester, Mass., had stopped with friends near the Lower Falls on the Swift River, a scenic pulloff on the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire's White Mountain National Forest.  Hildebrandt slipped on the rocks and fell into the river, then was swept away by high water. His friends saw him go downstream and underwater, so they called 911 for help at approximately 2:45 p.m.

New Hampshire Fish and Game Conservation Officers began searching Sunday afternoon, aided by several agencies that responded to the original call for help: U.S. Forest Service personnel; Conway, North Conway, Tamworth and Madison fire departments; N.H. Marine Patrol; the Carroll County Sheriff's office; members of Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO); and a New Hampshire State Police helicopter.

The search continued until dark last night, and resumed at 8 a.m. this morning (August 4). At this point, Hildebrandt is presumed to have drowned, and searchers are looking for his body.

"The search appears to be in a recovery phase," confirmed Captain Martin Garabedian of N.H. Fish and Game Law Enforcement.  "Conditions have improved since yesterday - the water level has gone down considerably, making for better visibility."

Garabedian emphasized that people should use extreme caution around streams and rivers throughout the state. "This is one of several potential drownings that have happened in the past week involving people recreating in or near rivers. Obviously, in different parts of the state we're dealing with flood-stage level stream flows.  Please be careful," he said.

No further information is available at this time.

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