This is a popular Class II training area for local boaters. At 15,000 cfs it's washed out, but quite fast, with few eddies.
Brothers rescued after falling into the Merrimack River while
Saturday, April 4, 2020 Jeffrey Hastings
MANCHESTER, NH — Manchester fire received multiple calls of
two men, later identified as brothers, in the Merrimack river just before 2
p.m. They were spotted south of the 293 bridge in heavy rapids. The men were
spotted clinging on to items, trying to hold on. One of the men was able to
swim to an island near the Manchester water treatment plant, the other man was
swept downstream. Both were successfully rescued.
Manchester Fire, and Bedford Fire launched boats and
watercraft to try to reach the men. NH Fish and Game and Marine Patrol were
already north of the incident searching for a victim of a presumed drowning
Thursday night. They rushed to the scene as well. Manchester fire launched two
boats on the east side of the river and one boat was able to reach the man on
the island, who was pulled to safety.
Rescuers reached one of the two men who was standing on a
rock in fast-moving water. They first handed him a vest and then pulled him
into the boat. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings
MFD and Bedford located the second man clinging to a tree in
the middle of heavy rapids with no personal floatation device. MFD and BFD
reached the man to provide a floatation
device. Once the man had the vest on MFD brought a boat close enough that the
man could be pulled into the boat. The man clenched on to one of the rescuers
as he was brought to shore where medical personnel were waiting.
The men identified themselves as brothers who decided to take
kayaks in the river, but “weren’t equipped properly to be in the river this
time of year,” according to Manchester District Chief Hank Martineau, from the
scene. Neither man had a personal floatation device on at the time of the
incident. The kayaks were washed down stream. Bedford Fire / EMS checked both
men for injuries and provided dry clothing to them.
“Due to the extreme conditions and the water temperature
these two individuals are lucky to be alive,” Martineau wrote in a summary
The body of the missing man from Thursday night has not been
recovered. Divers from Fish and Game and a boat from Marine Patrol continued to