LACONIA — A 10-year-old boy, from North Andover, Mass., who suffered serious injuries to his legs and lower body in an accident Thursday afternoon on Paugus Bay when a boat driven by is father is said to have backed over him, was airlifted by helicopter to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon.
No late night condition report was available on the boy, whose name has not been released by investigators, but Laconia Fire Chief Ken Erickson said the youth had suffered ''major trauma to both legs from waist to toes'' as a result of contact with the boat's propeller.
''He was wakeboarding with his father when the boat accidentally backed over him,'' said Erickson. He said that the father and younger brother, who was also on the boat, were able to pull him back into the boat and bring the boy to the South Down Shores Marina dock.
Laconia rescue workers treated the boy in the boat and removed him from the craft only minutes before a DHART helicopter arrived to take him to Dartmouth-Hitchcock.
''The father deserves a lot of credit for being able to get him back into the boat and bring him to shore,'' said Erickson. He praised the work of the Deputy Chief Shawn Riley and his team of firefighter-paramedics — Chad Vaillancourt, Dennis Comeau, Chucky Campbell and Nathan Mills — who cared for the boy and readied him to be transported.
"They did an absolutely extraordinary job," Erickson said. "I was very proud to watch how well they worked together."
Erickson also praised a dock hand at the marina who assisted in bringing urgently needed medical equipment and supplies to the boat. The Laconia Police cleared a landing zone for the helicopter just 100 yards from the dock. After the DHART flight took off, the father and brother of the victim left in a SUV, which had been parked near the docks, and headed to Lebanon.
Members of the Fire Department remained at the scene and cleaned up the boat so that the grief-stricken father wouldn't have to deal with that when he returned.
The incident was reported to Marine Patrol at 2:55 p.m. and is still under investigation.
Laconia Fire Department members move a 10-year-old boy from North Andover, Mass., who suffered severe injuries from a boat propeller in a wakeboarding accident on Paugus Bay, to an ambulance. The boy was transported by DART helicopter to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon on Thursday afternoon. (Roger Amsden photo for Laconia Daily Sun