By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN
TILTON — A local woman has three Belmont men and a local fire captain to thank for coming to her rescue after she tipped her kayak and was swept down the Winnipesaukee River Sunday afternoon over the Clement Dam.
Tilton-Northfield Fire Chief Mike Sitar said Monday she had been hanging onto a branch after being tossed from the kayak, but lost her grip and slipped through the dam, plunging to the other side.
"I guess the drop is about 15 to 20 feet," said Sitar, adding that the dam was open and there were a lot of rocks at the bottom of her fall.
He said first responders tried to help the woman by using throwing a life-saving device, and Capt. David Hall commandeered a kayak, but was eventually also swept down river, falling on to the rocks below.
While Hall was able to get to the shore without assistance, three Belmont men, brothers Trevor and Tylor Bouchard and their friend Tyler Zinkand raced down the river on foot as the woman went through the dam.
Sitar said Trevor Bouchard found the woman downstream and was able to pull her to shore, where she was assisted by the two others. Members of the Swift Water Rescue Team met them at the shore and carried the woman to an ambulance.
Sitar said he was very grateful to the three men who assisted her but said its not always a great idea for untrained people to go into the water to help people in distress.
Sitar said there has been some construction at the dam and the fence that normally stops people and things from going through the sluice way was not there.
A kayaker who was tossed from her boat went through this hole in the dam gate on the Winnipesaukee River Sunday afternoon. A rescuer also fell through the hole. Three Belmont men were able to grab her from the river, while Capt. David Hall was able to get to shore on his own. (Gail Ober/Laconia Daily Sun)
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