CONCORD, NH – A 39-year-old man drowned Aug. 29 while attempting to rescue a young relative who was struggling in the water at Profile Falls on the Smith River in Bristol.
According to NH State Police Marine Patrol, at approximately 3:24 p.m. a 911 call was received of a possible drowning. Four children, ages 7, 8, 10 and 13, were swimming and playing in the pool below the falls when the 8-year-old began struggling. The victim, a relative of the children who is from Concord, entered the water to assist the child. While attempting to provide aid the man went under and did not resurface. The other 3 children ultimately all began to struggle significantly.
Good Samaritans at the falls performed a water rescue entering the water removing all four of the children and ultimately the adult male victim, who was recovered in the town of Hill. The water depth where the children were recovered was between four- and six-feet deep. The drowning victim was located in approximately eight feet of water. CPR efforts were performed on the adult male and the 8-year-old child.
Resuscitation efforts on the 8-year-old child were successful and all four children were transported to Franklin Hospital for evaluation. Despite a valiant water rescue response by emergency personnel from nine agencies they were unsuccessful in resuscitating the adult male.
Drugs and alcohol do not appear to be factors in this drowning.
The name of the victim is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
“Had it not been for the selfless acts of the public at Profile Falls this assuredly would have been a multi-fatality drowning” says Sgt. Joshua Dirth. “Despite water conditions being low across the state an emergency can unfold in seconds – please take the proper precautions before entering or being near the water.”
NH State Police Marine Patrol urges everyone to wear a personal flotation device, preferably a USCG approved life jacket, especially for children and for anyone that is not a strong swimmer when not in a designated swimming area and there is not a life guard present.
Assisting agencies: Bristol Police, Hill Police, New Hampton Police, Fish and Game, Bristol Fire Rescue, Hill Fire Rescue, Franklin Fire Rescue, New Hampton Fire Rescue and Alexandria Fire Rescue