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Bay State woman dies in swimming accident


ALBANY — A Massachusetts woman died and another woman escaped injury Tuesday when they were swept over the Lower Falls while swimming in the Swift River, according to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

Sophal Hak, 56, of Lowell, Mass., and Sanamaran Keo, 50, also of Lowell, had waded into the river when they slipped and were swept by the current about 3:10 p.m. Tuesday and tumbled over the falls, said Fish and Game Sgt. Brian Abrams.

The river is “very high for what we see this time of year ... and it has a lot of force,” Abrams said.

Abrams said Keo was able to clutch to a rock about 650 feet downriver from the falls. She was rescued by the Conway firefighters and was not injured in the incident, he said.

Hak’s body was found about an hour later almost 2 miles away, he said.

Abrams said the women were part of a group of friends from Massachusetts at the popular swimming and picnicking spot at the U.S. National Forest in the town of Albany.

He said almost 30 rescuers from several agencies, including Fish and Game, the Conway Fire Department, U.S. Forest Service and North Conway Fire Department, responded to the incident.

tbuckland@unionleader.com

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