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Lt. Robert Bryant: 603-271-3127
Liza Poinier: 603-271-3211

Lost Fisherman Found Safe After Four Days Out

CONCORD, N.H. – Gerard Perron of Claremont, who became lost in Franconia Notch during a fishing trip that started last Friday, is back home and in good shape.  Perron was located Tuesday afternoon, May 5, 2009, just after 5:00, by a pair of Canadian hikers who were coming down the Falling Waters Trail, some 15 minutes after a search crew had come down Little Haystack on the same trail.

Lt. Todd Bogardus of the N.H. Fish and Game Department reports that search crews had been up and down the Falling Waters Trail and “all over that area” several times during the previous 48 hours, but that Perron had been off the trail. 

Perron, age 63, had found himself in chest-high snow at some point during his multi-day ordeal, losing his sneakers in the process.  When Louis Denhez and Michael Touregny of Quebec found him, he was reportedly shoeless, disheveled and dehydrated, but otherwise “in good shape.”  One of the hikers stayed with Perron while the other ran down the mountain, about a mile and a half to the trailhead, to get help.

“Once we got word he was located, we sent a team back up the trail, and they carried Perron out on a litter,” Bogardus said.  “He was out of the woods by about 8:00 p.m. and transported to Littleton Regional Hospital for evaluation.” 

After Perron initially lost the trail, Bogardus said, he may have been in the area of Shining Rock.  “After he lost his shoes, Perron holed up for a day or so, and wrapped his feet up in clothes.  We believe that when Perron heard the searchers and hikers on Falling Waters Trail, he was able to find his way to the trail, where the hikers found him.”

N.H. Fish and Game coordinated the search; New England Canine Search & Rescue, Upper Valley Wilderness Response Team, Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue Team also participated.  Emergency Management established the command post, and the Red Cross also provided support.

For information on being safe while hiking, visit www.hikesafe.com.

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