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For Immediate Release
August 20, 2016
For more information contact:
Officer John Curran

Near Drowning on Lake Winnipesaukee

On Saturday, August 20, 2016 at approximately 12:06 PM, New Hampshire State Police – Marine Patrol received a 9-1-1 call reporting children swimmers in distress on Lake Winnipesaukee in the area of the Governor's Island Channel in Gilford.

Marine Patrol Supervisor Brian Starck and Officer John Curran responded to the scene. Initial investigation revealed that the victims and other family members had arrived on a pontoon boat. They anchored the boat and some were swimming nearby in waist deep water. A wave passed and took them into deeper water where they began to struggle.

Upon seeing them struggle, the operator of the pontoon boat, Ali Cheema, age 24 of East Elmhurst, NY, removed the anchor and attempted to retrieve the victims. Other vessels in the area also assisted, including an off-duty Woodstock police officer and off-duty Wilton fire fighter.

The three swimmers, an 18-year old female, 15-year old female and 15-year old male, were brought aboard the boat. CPR was performed on the 15-year old male. All three victims were transported to Lakes Region General Hospital (LRGH) for treatment and evaluation. The 15-year old male was conscious and was ultimately transferred to Boston Children's Hospital for further evaluation. The females remain at LRGH for and are also conscious.

Other assisting agencies included the Gilford and Laconia Fire Departments.

New Hampshire Department of Safety | 33 Hazen Drive | Concord, NH 03305
TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964
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