Three people drowned in New Hampshire waters over the weekend, including a 6-year-old boy who was wading in the Salmon Falls River in Rollinsford, authorities said.
The boy was with an adult near a boat launch just after 2 p.m. Saturday, according to authorities. He had last been seen wading. When his family could not locate him, they began a frantic search and called 911, Fish and Game officials said.
A New Hampshire State Police helicopter searched the area for more than two hours, New Hampshire Marine Patrol said.
Fish and Game Department dive team members found the boy around 4:45 p.m. He was about 15 feet from shore, in about 10 feet of water. He was unresponsive and taken to Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in Dover, then flown to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where he was pronounced dead, the Marine Patrol said.
The boy’s name was being withheld by authorities Sunday.
The Marine Patrol and divers from Fish and Game received another emergency call later Saturday about two swimmers who went under in the Merrimack River in Canterbury.
A man and a woman were among a group of four swimming near Pebble Beach around 7:45 p.m. when they began to struggle in the water, the Marine Patrol said in a news release.
“Despite efforts from the other two people to help pull them from the water, they went underwater and did not resurface,” the news release said.
Nick Baker, interim chief of the Canterbury Fire Department, said Sunday that the search continued until about 10:30 p.m. Sunday, then resumed Monday morning.
Baker said there was some initial confusion about where the group was swimming when the 911 call came in Saturday night.
“It’s a good idea if you’re going swimming in an unfamiliar spot to have a good sense of where you are,” Baker said.
Divers from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department located the body of a 21-year-old woman around 8:20 a.m. Sunday and found a 27-year-old man’s body about 15 minutes later, the release said. Their names were being withheld until relatives could be notified, state police said.
Both were found in about 15 feet of water near where they were last seen, Fish and Game said.
“NH Fish and Game conservation officers want to remind the public to be aware of their swimming capabilities and practice good water safety before venturing into New Hampshire’s many water bodies,” the agency said Sunday in a statement.
Baker said swimmers should remember that New Hampshire waters are still cold this time of year, despite the warmer air temperatures.
Marine Patrol Capt. Tim Dunleavy said Sunday that preliminary findings indicated that all three victims weren’t strong swimmers.
Anyone with information is asked to call Marine Patrol Lt. Crystal McLain at (603) 227-2113 or email Crystal.McLain@dos.nh.gov.