New Hampshire

2 Men Rescued From Lake Winnipesaukee, 1 Later Dies

New Hampshire State Police say James Murphy died after he went into the water to try to help Ronald Bickford, who had fallen into Lake Winnipesaukee after losing his balance trying to board a boat on the Gilford Town Docks

The New Hampshire State Police Marine Patrol says two men were rescued after they were found clinging to a dock in Lake Winnipesaukee, but one later died.

The patrol in Gilford was alerted to screams for help around 2:15 p.m. Wednesday. They responded to the Gilford Town Docks, where they found the men, later identified as Ronald Bickford and James Murphy, both of Laconia.

Police say Bickford, 71, lost his balance and then fell into the lake between the dock and the boat he was trying to board. Murphy, 66, went into the water to try to help Bickford, but both men struggled to remain on the surface, according to witnesses.

Bickford and Murphy went beneath the surface multiple times before good Samaritans were able to grab their arms and hold them until more help arrived. according to police. A nearby Marine Patrol boat then assisted both men out of the water but they became unresponsive moments later, officials said.

Both men were taken to Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia, where Murphy later died. Bickford was transferred to Concord Hospital for further treatment. There was no update Thursday on his condition.

The case remains under investigation. Anyone who may have further information related to this incident is encouraged to contact Marine Patrol at 603-293-2037, or by email at

Marine Patrol was assisted at the scene by Gilford Fire and Police Departments, along with several members of the public. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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