Tubers lose contact with group, spend night in wooded area
ALBANY — Two New Hampshire men spent Saturday night in the woods after failing to reach their destination while tubing along the Saco River but ending up on the Swift River in Albany.
Matthew Ellis, 26, of Rochester, and Dylan Meyers, 21, of Farmington, were part of a group of eight who left southern NH intending to float a section of the Saco River in Conway on inner tubes.
The group mistakenly wound up on the Swift River in Albany, according to NH Fish and Game.
They put in at Bear Notch Road at 3 p.m. after leaving a vehicle about five miles downstream below Lower Falls. Low water levels and rocky conditions slowed the group’s progress.
Ellis and Meyers were in the rear of the group and lost contact with the rest of their party at a bend in the river.
The main party traveled about two miles and at 7 p.m. left the river and walked the remaining distance to their vehicle.
Ellis and Meyers continued until dark, but traveled only about 1.5 miles. They were shoeless and, in the dark, unable to negotiate about a half-mile of heavily wooded terrain from the river to Route 112.
Members of their party searched up and down the road until they were met by a NH state trooper, who initiated a call for help.
Fish and Game conservation officers responded. Shortly after daybreak, the two men made their way out of the woods and were found to be in good condition.
The Swift River is not a recommended tubing destination, according to Fish and Game. The U.S. Forest Service prohibits swimming at Rocky Gorge due to a hazardous waterfall.
Both Rocky Gorge and Lower Falls, which is currently closed, are in the section of the river the group intended to travel. At high water levels, Fish and Game noted, multiple drowning incidents have occurred on that stretch of river.