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July 06. 2013 10:04AM

Concord man identified as drowning victim pulled from Merrimack River by divers

CONCORD - The body of a fisherman recovered from the Merrimack River Friday has been identified as Gary Lacroix, 59, of Concord, authorities said Saturday.

Lacroix was fishing on the Merrimack River in Concord near Sewall's Falls when witnesses told authorities that Lacroix spotted a plastic bag floating down the river, according to Fish and Game.

Lacorix began wading into the river to retrieve the bag and when he was about 60 feet from shore, he came across a three-foot drop off in the river. He was unable to get back to shore and went below the surface of the water and didn’t resurface.

At about 2:05 p.m., the Concord fire and police departments, Marine Patrol and Fish and Game were notified. Concord Fire and Marine Patrol personnel conducted shoreline searches of the immediate area, but were unable to locate Lacroix. Fish and Game dive team members began diving in the area at 5:25 and were able to locate Lacroix’s body at 5:39 p.m. in the area witnesses saw him go below the surface of the water.

Fish and Game said with the recent heavy rainfall, the rivers are running much higher and faster than they normally are this time of the year. Anyone recreating on the water should use extra caution and wear a personal flotation device, authorities said.
 
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Full text of earlier story continues in full below.

Divers recover man's body from Merrimack River in Concord

 
Divers recovered the body of a man from the Merrimack River in Concord on Friday after searching the fast-moving water by land, water and boat for at least 3 1/2 hours.

New Hampshire Fish and Game divers found the body less than 75 feet from shore near the Sewalls Falls Recreation Area between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., Concord Fire Lt. Brian Saltmarsh said.

Firefighters received a report of a man struggling in the water about 2 p.m., he said.

The recreation area is about a quarter-mile south of the Sewalls Falls Dam and is popular with boaters, fishermen and swimmers.

"My understanding is he had been fishing from shore, (but) the exact circumstances of why he was in the water, I don't have that information," Saltmarsh said.

The man has been identified and his family notified. His name was not immediately available.

"The water level is extremely high right now, which has created some significant currents," Saltmarsh said.

Concord firefighters, New Hampshire Fish and Game and New Hampshire Marine Patrol joined in the search.
 
<i>- By KATHRYN MARCHOCKI, New Hampshire Union Leader</i>



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