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Rescuers used an intricate rope system with pulleys to reach a young man who had slipped off the rocks into the Pemigewasset River at Livermore Falls in Campton about 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 18, 2017. (Campton-Thornton Fire Rescue)

Video: PSU student rescued after slipping off rocks into the Pemi at Livermore Falls


CAMPTON — A Plymouth State University student was rescued Thursday night after he slipped on wet rocks at Livermore Falls and landed waist-deep in the extremely cold Pemigewasset River.

Campton-Thornton Fire Rescue Chief Daniel Defosses said he does not know the name of the student.

Rescuers used an intricate rope system with pulleys to reach the young man who slipped off the rocks about 6:30 p.m. Defosses said he and other college students were “doing what college kids do. They felt like climbing around on the rocks and he hit a slippery spot and slipped down. He’s really lucky he didn’t go off into the water.”

He was about waist-deep in the water at the edge of the raging river, Defosses said. Rescuers could see he was getting cold.

Bystanders were aggravated that it took rescuers a while to get the intricate rope and pully system together to make the rescue, the fire chief said.

“You guys have to hurry up,” he recalled the bystanders yelling.

Defosses said it took about 20 minutes to put the intricate rope system together and for Plymouth firefighter Brian Peck to slowly make hisway down the rope to the student. 

“It’s very slow, very labor intensive,” Defosses said. “You want to make sure you’re doing everything right.”

Peck put a harness around the man and then slowly brought him back up the cliff to safety; part of the rescue can be viewed in the video below.

The man was evaluated and treated on scene for exposure to the ice cold water. He refused treatment and was released.

“He’s very lucky,” Defosses said. “It could have been much worse.”

Livermore Falls is notorious for a lot of fatalities over the years, Defosses said, because it is always a dangerous area of the river but made more so Thursday because of the recent heavy rains.

Personnel from the Holderness Fire Department and New Hampshire Fish and Game also helped out at the scene.

pgrossmith@unionleader.com


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