Accident Database

Report ID# 1113

  • Health Problem
  • Near Drowning
  • Other

Accident Description

On June 27, 1994, a group of Boy Scouts from Amherst, New Hampshire , saved Robert Briere, a paraplegic man. They were on the third day of a four-day whitewater trip on the Androscoggin River north of Berlin, New Hampshire . The rounded a bend and found a man floating facedown in the river without a PFD. Two of the boys, who were wearing life vests and helmets, jumped from their canoes, and pulled him to shore.  

            They first suspected a spinal injury and were afraid to move him farther. Then Briere’s companion, who had been fishing with him upriver when their boat capsized, arrived and told the Scouts his friend was paraplegic. The boys immediately rolled Briere over and cleared his airway, allowing him to regain consciousness. The two rescuers continued to talk to him, offering encouragement. The other Scouts paddled to shore, cleared a path to the road, and flagged down a motorist on Route 16. Briere was transported to a hospital in Berlin and held overnight for observation. He later returned to the river to find the boys and give them his thanks.  

SOURCE: Manchester Union Leader  

Author’s Note: A textbook  example of great rescue teamwork.



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