CONTACT:
Lt. John Wimsatt: (603) 271-3361 or (603) 271-3128

UPDATED PRESS RELEASE - March 1, 2010

BODY OF MISSING CANOEIST RECOVERED IN RAYMOND

RAYMOND, N.H. – On March 1, 2010, at approximately 4:00 PM, the body of Cassandra Ray, age 21, of Salem was recovered by search teams in the Exeter River approximately 80 yards downstream from where her canoe capsized on Friday, February 26, at 3:45 PM.

Significantly decreased water level, reduced currents and improved visibility provided an opportunity for re-intensified search efforts. In addition to daily searches by motorboat and shore, Conservation Officers were able to use a canoe to search hard-to-reach areas and flooded timber.

Searchers located numerous clues throughout the day, including footwear and a hat. At about 4:00 PM, Conservation Officers Michael Matson and Justin Ferland located Cassandra Ray’s body in approximately 4 feet of water.
 
During the incident on Friday, two of the companion canoeists, Michael Putnam, age 22, of Salem, and Ryan Goff, age 20, of Chester, were able to make it safely to shore.  Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) were not worn by any of the three canoeists, nor were any on board at the time of the incident.

Along with Fish and Game Conservation Officers, participating agencies included: Raymond Police, Fire, Ambulance, Derry Fire, Auburn Fire and Rescue, Chester Fire, the New England K-9 Search and Rescue Team, Upper Valley Wilderness Response Team, the NH State Police Helicopter and NH Marine Patrol. Lt. John Wimsatt of Fish and Game credits outstanding teamwork by all agencies involved that resulted in a safe, effective mission that helped bring closure to Ray’s family and friends, who spent many long hours searching the shorelines.

As spring rains approach, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department recommends that outdoor enthusiasts exercise extreme caution and avoid water activities on New Hampshire rivers and streams during flood events like the one the state recently experienced. "Flooding rivers coupled with frigid water temperatures, debris and ice flows are no place for watercraft," said Wimsatt. "Whenever venturing out in a boat, canoe or kayak, always wear an approved Personal Flotation Device." 
 
No further information is available at this time.

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