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Derry firefighters, lakeside resident pull man and dog from lake

Union Leader Correspondent

June 09. 2016 12:20PM
Beaver Lake resident Lisa Corricelli points to where she went on her Jet Ski to help a man struggling to keep his dog on a kayak after it capsized Thursday morning. Corricelli was able to rescue the dog, the man was then rescued by Derry firefighters. (HUNTER McGEE/UNION LEADER CORRESPONDENT)

DERRY — Commandeering a kayak, firefighters rescued a man who wasn’t wearing a life vest from the cold waters of Beaver Lake Thursday morning after he and his dog capsized their kayak.

The dog was also rescued, not by firefighters but by Beaver Lake resident Lisa Corricelli, who said she was awakened by the man’s cries for help. She got up and immediately went over to her yellow and white personal watercraft, climbed aboard, and headed out to the man.

When she reached him, he was clinging to the overturned kayak about 100 yards offshore and trying to control his large dog, Corricelli said. Concerned about his dog, the man, whose identity authorities did not release, decided to remain with the kayak and wait to be rescued, she said.

“He was staying on the kayak to help the dog,” Corricelli said. “I just held the leash and he pushed it up” onto her watercraft.

After reaching shore, she walked the dog over to the man’s nearby house and tied it to a fence. At about the same time, another resident heard the man’s cries for help and called 911, said Derry Fire Capt. Scott Jackson.

When the first fire crews arrived, the man was barely able to keep his head above water, Jackson said.

“He was pretty much physically exhausted,” Jackson said.

A fire department inflatable boat had been dispatched, but was still minutes from arriving. With the man’s life at stake, firefighters decided to commandeer a nearby kayak, Jackson said. Lt. Michael Stanhope donned a life vest and paddled as fast as he could to reach the floundering man.

“We knew he didn’t have much time,” Jackson said.

Stanhope reached the man, grabbed him and brought him to shore. Shivering uncontrollably, he was taken by ambulance to Elliot Hospital in Manchester, Jackson said.

Of rescuing the man’s dog, Corricelli said, “I feel pretty good about it. It’s a good way to start my day.”

At about the same time, firefighters extinguished a fire at 5 N. Main St, that left the first floor uninhabitable, Gagnon said. There were no injuries reported.

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