Akwa Marina offers a quiet refuge

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Akwa Marina’s pool and hot tub are available for members, and its beach bar is open to the public. (Alana Persson/Laconia Daily Sun)

LACONIA — A stone's throw away from the bustling Weirs Boardwalk, boaters can dock at the tranquil Akwa Marina Beach Bar II, located on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee.

Just through the gates of the Akwa Marina Yacht Club, visitors and locals can enjoy food and drinks under a handcrafted wooden gazebo that overlooks the water or sit at tables located directly on the shoreline. All beach bar dining areas open daily at noon and remain open until dusk or later.

The Beach Bar has entered its second year under the management of Hart's Turkey Farm of Meredith and the partnership has been mutually beneficial to both businesses, according to Richard Mailloux, owner of the Akwa Marina Yacht Club and Beach Bar.

“When there are rainy days during the summer, everyone goes to the Hart's Turkey Farm location in Meredith. But when there are sunny days, customers come here,” said Mailloux. “So we are able to help Hart’s Turkey Farm out during the summer months and they in turn provide us with great food.”

The partnership with Hart’s has allowed for the expansion of the Marina’s business plan, as now the Beach Bar is able to cater for weddings and large parties. The Akwa Marina hopes to increase the number of large functions they host, according to Mailloux. Presently, they are due to host their first wedding event on Saturday, July 22.

Although the pool, hot tub and beach area are only open to Akwa Marina Yacht Club members, the dining area is open to the public.

“The food here is great and keeps some people coming back for both lunch and dinner almost every day,” said Mailloux. He added that the calamari and lobster rolls are some of the more popular items at the Beach Bar.

Other foods on the menu include the Golden Fish-and-Chips, the Grilled 10-ounce Rib-Eye Steak, and the Ahi Tuna. These items, mixed with various vegetarian options and further surf and turf items, provide an expansive menu that can cater to anyone’s cravings, according to Mailloux.

The bar area is a unique part of the Beach Bar facility, as it is built on a 1903 sailboat that was purchased by the Mailloux family from Lake Erie. Guests can sit at the boat, The Anona, while enjoying one of a wide variety of fresh fruit drinks, such as the daily special Sangria.

A full listing of the items on the menu can be found at http://akwamarina.com/page/akwa-marina-beach-bar.

Those who wish to arrive by boat, but do not have a boat to arrive on, are encouraged to look into joining the American Boat Club, which is offered through the Akwa Marina Yacht Club. Through joining this club, guests are able to enjoy the Beach Bar, the pool and hot tub facilities, access to the beach, and any of the boats or watercraft that the Mailloux family has available. For more information on joining the American Boat Club call 603-782-4242.

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Akwa Marina’s one-of-a-kind bar is built around a 1903 sailboat that once sailed on Lake Erie. (Alana Persson/Laconia Daily Sun)

Water wells at Robbie Mills will have to be 'fracked'



LACONIA — It's not like they hit a dry hole, but workers who drilled two wells at the Robbie Mills Sports Complex found they are not producing enough water.

They will have to be fracked.

Water will be injected at high pressure to fracture rock in the hole and clear access to underground pools. Fracking was first developed for use in oil wells, where a different kind of liquid is injected.

Robbie Mills, home to the Winnipesaukee Muskrats of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, has been without water service since late April.

While the latest complication was always a possibility, it represents another in a series of delays and leaves open the possibility the team will go a whole season without irrigation or indoor plumbing. Their final home game is July 28.

On the bright side, a rainy spring and summer has kept the ballfield's grass green.
Kevin Dunleavy, Laconia’s director of recreation and facilities, said he doesn't have an estimate for when water will be restored.

The field at 15 Eastman Road had previously depended on a water tower that is part of the former Laconia State School campus. A water main serving that tower failed in late April.

Rather than make expensive repairs, the state, which is under no obligation to provide water to the city's field, opted to serve its facilities by tying into a water main on Route 106. That roadway is close to the state's property but a good distance from the ball field.

The city's solution was to dig two wells at a total cost of $47,000. The City Council approved the expenditure, but Laconia still needed to get the state to sign off on the plan. The state required another City Council vote, attesting that City Manager Scott Myers was authorized to sign relevant documents.

Also, there was a change in plans on the location of the wells. At first they were to be placed on state land outside the sports complex.

Myers said a decision was made to place the wells in the sports complex, as the city has greater control over that land.

Although the sports complex land is owned by the state, it has been leased to the city for 99 years at nominal cost.

Passerby saves boy from drowning



LACONIA — A Messer Street resident came to the rescue after two young boys who were swimming at the foot Lake Opechee got caught in the current and were swept downstream on Friday afternoon.

Sefik Kosut, 49, of 125 Messer St., said, “I’m in the right place at the right time.”

Kosut said he heard cries for help and saw the two boys in the Winnipesaukee River, with one of them showing distress.

“I tried to make him come close to shore where it was more shallow, but he was scared and going down, so I jump in and grab him,” Kosut said, adding that the boy had gone under the water at least twice before he reached him.

The second boy was able to get out on his own and went to the railroad bridge to call for help.

Fire Chief Ken Erickson said firefighters responded to a water rescue call at 1:13 p.m. Lt. Jay Ellingson arrived from Central Station and found Kosut in the water, about 100 feet from shore, holding the boy afloat.

While the rescue team was preparing its inflatable boat, firefighter Nate Mills jumped in the river and swam out to the two people, putting the boy in a life jacket and bringing him to shore. Both boys were transported to Lakes Region General Hospital for an assessment, with the boy in the river being treated for near-drowning.

Kosut said later that the N.H. Marine Patrol informed him that the boy was fine.

Erickson said, “There’s no question, if he didn’t jump into the water, it would have been different.”

“I grow up on a mountain river, and all my life spend time in the water,” Kosut said. “I’m not a strong, but good swimmer. I know when I was young, the same thing happened to me, and friends save me, so I learned to take care of myself.”

He told firefighters, “I couldn’t let him die. So I jumped in. Thankfully, we were home having a late-afternoon cookout.”

Erickson said the boys apparently were alone at the time of the emergency, and the department was attempting to notify their parents.

The water rescue call came in at a particularly busy time for the fire department, which received four emergency calls in an hour, Erickson said.

“While at the river rescue, the Weirs crew and a Gilford ambulance responded to 1330 Union Ave. for an unconscious person,” he said. “The Weirs (crew) had just cleared from a motor vehicle crash on Summit Avenue. As soon as the units cleared Messer Street, there was another serious medical emergency on Court Street. That person had to be transported to Concord Hospital. Minutes later, there was an alarm activation at the Taylor Home. While at that location, there was another serious medical emergency on Summer Street.

“Earlier that morning, at 8:15 a.m., there were two simultaneous medical emergencies. Both patients were high-risk,” he said.


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At right, Laconia firefighters, including Nate Mills, along with Messer St. resident Sefik Kosut, help get a boy to shore from the Winnipesaukee River after he and another boy were caught in the current on Friday afternoon. (Courtesy Photo, Laconia Fire Department)