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Overnight search finds missing canoers stranded on island in Kingston
KINGSTON – Authorities located a man and woman stranded on an island in the Powwow River Wednesday morning after their canoe sprung a leak and prompted a night-long search by air, land and water.
The search began after police found an abandoned 2002 Nissan Altima parked along Smallpox Road around 9 p.m., Police Chief Donald Briggs Jr. said.
During their investigation, police learned that Justin Leighton, 33, of Sandown had parked the vehicle there and went out onto the Powwow River in a canoe with a friend, Andrea Runkel, 31, of Londonderry, and a dog.
At some point, Leighton called his mother on his cell phone and told her that the canoe was taking on water and that they had paddled to an island on the river to try to fix the leak.
Briggs said Leighton's cell phone then died, which cut off contact with his mother.
Concerned about their safety, authorities launched a search that included police, firefighters, Fish and Game officers, and a state police helicopter.
Police spotted a small fire from the helicopter on an island along the Powwow River between New Boston Road and Country Pond and dispatched a Fish and Game officer, who located the pair around 4:30 a.m.
Briggs said they were found safe and managed to repair the canoe.
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