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Jul 9, 2015 11:23 AM

Warning signs sought for Boscawen spot where two people drowned


BOSCAWEN - Town officials hope to put up a sign warning about dangerous currents at a location on the Merrimack River where a boy and his stepfather recently drowned.
“I used to chase kids jumping from the Route 4 bridge into the river, 40 to 50 feet down. I have done CPR on people half-drowned, and I’ve helped pull bodies out of the water, so I know first-hand the dangers of this river. These problems have been ongoing for some time,” Craig Saltmarsh, chairman of the board of selectmen, told the Union Leader. Saltmarsh is a former sergeant on the town’s police force.
Selectmen were working Wednesday to determine what land along the approximately 10-mile stretch of the river is owned by the town and what is owned by the state.
“We have contacted our state representatives to help us work with the state to put up some signs that maybe say ‘Danger, swimming in this area is not safe, strong currents!’ or something like that,” Saltmarsh said.
“The loss of life is terrible. We have to do something, but the question now is who owns what on the river,” said Alan Hardy, the town’s planning and community development directors.
Sometime after 6 p.m. on that Wednesday evening, Javier Gonzalez of Concord, was swimming in the river when his mother and stepfather, Addidile-jaerti “Jibril” Mohamed, saw him go under in the river’s swift currents, which were made faster by recent rains, state officials said. Mohamed tried to rescue the boy, but was also caught in the currents. Authorities found both bodies in the river the next day.
“The currents can get nasty. The river looks calm on top but a few feet underneath the surface can be extremely strong,” Saltmarsh said.


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