For Immediate Release
Posted: July 20, 2023


Amber Lagace, Public Information Officer
(603) 223-8434 |

Boating Collisions and Water Rescues

GILFORD, New Hampshire - On Wednesday, July 19, 2023, at approximately 10:25 p.m., E911 received a call of a person in the water on Lake Winnipesaukee, yelling for help while a boat that was circling in the area.  The call came from the area of Round Island in the town of Gilford.

Two Marine Patrol Officers who were on patrol immediately responded to the area.  Upon arrival, they found a serious boating crash with two victims in the water.  The Officers were able to rescue the two victims from the water, assisting them onto the patrol boat.  The victims were then transferred onto a Gilford Fire Department boat that also responded to the scene.  At the same time, the Officers were able to locate the uncontrolled boat formerly occupied by the victims, still running and wandering erratically on the lake.

Due to the dangerousness of the runaway boat, the two Officers made a valiant and treacherous attempt to get the boat stopped by throwing a line into the water in its path, to entangle the propeller(s) and stall it, get it to stop, or at least to slow it down so that it could not cause further injury to persons or damage to property.  After the first attempt proved unsuccessful, a second attempt was made.

While making the second attempt to stop the driverless boat, it made an unexpected turn toward the patrol boat.  Despite an evasive maneuver, the Marine Patrol boat was struck at its stern, causing it to capsize.  Both Officers were thrown overboard and then momentarily pinned under the boat, which was then being dragged by the other vessel.  Fortunately, both officers were able to escape and made it to the surface.  

New Hampshire State Police Marine Patrol is aware that good Samaritans, not yet identified, courageously involved themselves in the dangerous situation, both assisting Marine Patrol Officers in getting out of the water and by boarding the private vessel, that was now slowed by dragging the Marine Patrol vessel and stopping it.  

Both victims from the original crash were taken to Concord Hospital – Laconia and suffered non-life-threatening injuries.  Both officers were also evaluated at the hospital as a precaution, and neither was injured.

Marine Patrol would like to thank Gilford Fire Department, Alton Police Department, New Hampshire State Police Troops A and E, and especially the unidentified good Samaritans for their responses to and assistance with this serious call.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call Lieutenant Dennis Wade at (603) 846-3333.