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News and Events

For Immediate Release
May 6, 2018
For more information contact:
Sergeant Joshua Dirth (603) 227-2115
joshua.dirth@dos.nh.gov

Fatal Boating Accident, Piscataqua River, Newington

On Saturday, May 5, 2018 at approximately 8:15 PM, New Hampshire State Police – Marine Patrol received a call regarding a boating accident with a missing person on the Piscataqua River in the area of the Elliot Boat Landing in Elliot, ME. Initial reports indicated that the crash occurred in Maine. A few minutes later, NHSP-MP Communications received a follow-up call advising that all four persons involved were accounted for. Responding agencies arrived at the boat landing and upon preliminary investigation, determined that the crash happened in New Hampshire, at which time, NHSP-MP officers responded.

Officers' initial investigation found that a 24' Boston Whaler was being operated on plane by a 59-year old male with three passengers on board. The vessel struck a buoy in the vicinity of the Elliot Boat Landing. Upon impacting the buoy, one female passenger, who was wearing a life jacket, was ejected from the boat. The operator called 9-1-1 for help and located her unconscious in the water. He maneuvered the vessel to the boat landing, which was within sight of the location of the crash.

Responding agencies transported the operator to York Hospital in York, Maine for treatment of a possible back injury and other bruising. The other three passengers were brought to Portsmouth Hospital in Portsmouth, NH. Two female passengers were pronounced deceased. The third passenger, a male, was ultimately transported to a hospital in Boston, MA for further treatment.

Responding agencies included the NHSP-Marine Patrol, Maine Marine Patrol, Elliot (ME) Police Department, Elliot (ME) Fire Department, United States Coast Guard.

The names and other identifying information is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. Additional updates will be sent via updated press releases.

At this time it appears that operator inattention may have been a factor in this crash, however all aspects remain under investigation. Anyone who has further information related to this accident or who witnessed the incident is encouraged to contact New Hampshire State Police – Marine Patrol Sergeant Joshua Dirth at 603-227-2115 or by email at At this time it appears that operator inattention may have been a factor in this crash, however all aspects remain under investigation. Anyone who has further information related to this accident or who witnessed the incident is encouraged to contact New Hampshire State Police – Marine Patrol Sergeant Joshua Dirth at 603-227-2115 or by email at joshua.dirth@dos.nh.gov.

Updated May 8, 2018

The vessel was operated by John Wickman of Eliot, ME. One of the deceased female passengers was identified as Laurie Stewart, age 56, also from Eliot, ME. The second occupant who succumbed to injuries sustained from the crash was a seven-year old girl. A 5-year old boy was transported to Children's Hospital in Boston for treatment.

Whereas the incident is actively being investigated, no further details will be released barring significant changes to the known facts and circumstances surrounding the crash. If anyone witnessed the incident, they are requested to contact New Hampshire State Police – Marine Patrol Sergeant Joshua Dirth at 603-227-2115 or via email at joshua.dirth@dos.nh.gov.

   
 
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