Woman pulled from Merrimack River

Sign Up For Our FREE Daily eNews!

FOM 2024 1491
Rescuers prepare to pull a woman from the Merrimack River. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings

Incident Type: Technical Rescue 

Address: 780 North Commercial Street 

Dispatch: 11:51 

Under Control: 12:50 

Resources: BO1, BO2, BO3, CRU, DC1, E11, E3, E5, E6, PIC1, R1, T1, T6,ALS3, PIC1 

Description of Incident: Engine 3 was dispatched to 780 N. Commercial Street to check on an individual who was acting erratically. She was noticed by an employee of  Eversource, along the river’s edge, acting strangely and throwing her shoes and other items into the river. 

On arrival, Engine 3 was notified that the subject had now lowered herself into the water from the embankment. Engine 3 established Incident Command and called for additional resources for a swift-water rescue operation.

Companies responded and launched two jet-powered swift-water boats in an attempt to make contact from the Fisher Cat’s Stadium ramp.  Due to the location of the woman, companies set up a rope system to access her and secure her before she was swept off the rock she was holding on to. This was complicated by her mental state and her inability to cooperate.

A rescuer maintained contact with the distraught woman, calmly talking to hold her attention while another member rappelled over the edge of the embankment. The two of them quickly made contact and gained control of her as the team of rescuers raised them from the water onto the riverbank. She was secured into a stokes basket and raised over the 25-foot cement wall with Truck 1’s aerial platform. She was then transferred to AMR and transported to the hospital for medical evaluation. 

Civilian Injuries: None 

Emergency Service Injuries: None

Special Circumstances: Members showed technical expertise and teamwork during this incident.  This was a dynamic operation that encompassed multiple technical rescue disciplines. This section of the Merrimack River has limited access, and is a fast-moving swift water section during this time of year. Members had to navigate over difficult terrain with limited access to the patient. Rescuing patients who are in an altered mental state requires additional measures, and adds another layer of risks to overcome safely. 

Incident Commander: Battalion Chief Jon Fosher


Subscribe Now and Never Miss Another Thing!

About this Author

Manchester Fire Department

The mission of the Manchester Fire Department is to provide the City of Manchester with superior customer service and integrated emergency response to any situation that threatens the life, safety and well-being of people and property.