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Bethlehem man, 31, identified as drowning victim; found unconscious by family

Union Leader Correspondent

August 21. 2018 10:00AM
An easterly look up the Ammonoosuc River in Bethlehem and the old hydroelectric dam off River Road on Monday. A man drowned on Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018, about 100 yards downstream from the dam. (John Koziol/Union Leader Correspondent)

BETHLEHEM — Authorities say a medical condition may have been a contributing factor in what is believed to be the first drowning in the Ammonoosuc River here in more than a half century.

New Hampshire Marine Patrol on Monday identified the victim as Danny-Lee Bunnell, 31, of Bethlehem, adding that while the investigation remains open, foul play is not suspected in his death.

On Sunday, around 12:40 p.m., an emergency call was received regarding a possible drowning in the Ammonoosuc, which flows westerly off Mount Washington to Woodsville, where it enters the Connecticut River.

First responders, including the marine patrol and the Bethlehem police and fire departments, learned that Bunnell had been found unconscious in the river by a family member, who pulled him from the water and performed CPR.

Bethlehem fire chief Jack Anderson, a member of the fire department since 1968, said the drowning was unique in his experience.

The Ammonoosuc is “not rapids, just an easy-flow river,” he said.

Anderson said the drowning occurred about 100 yards downstream from a former hydroelectric dam off River Road, a spot that is popular with fishermen and swimmers.

According to a Facebook profile for “Danny Bunnell,” he was a 2005 graduate of Woonsocket (R.I.) High School and a member of the Class of 2011 at the Community College of Rhode Island in Warwick.

Public Safety Deaths in the news Bethlehem

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