MEREDITH — A 72-year-old Bear Island resident began to struggle during a Wednesday evening swim and was rescued but did not survive, authorities said.

The New Hampshire Marine Patrol withheld the man’s name pending notification of his family.

Meredith Fire Chief Ken Jones said the man was in the habit of swimming to one neighbor’s swim raft, and then to another before swimming back.

“He was returning back when he encountered difficulty, possibly with some health issues,” Jones said.

“Two local residents heard his wife hollering for help. They entered the water and pulled him to shore.”

The Meredith Fire Department received an emergency call at 7:04 p.m. and dispatched their boat with a Stewart’s Ambulance crew on board. They arrived at the same time as a Marine Patrol boat and emergency personnel took over from local people who were performing CPR on the man.

He could not be revived.

Jones said this is one of several water-related fatalities this year, including two in New Hampton, one in Gilford and one in Franklin.

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