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Body of Missing Kayaker Recovered From NH River

The body of a kayaker who went missing in the Merrimack River in Concord, New Hampshire earlier this week has been found.

Divers found the body around 2:30 p.m. Friday, downstream from where the kayaker had first gone missing. He has been identified as 20-year-old Alec Bronchuk, of Merrimack.

"It's just hard on everyone, I am just happy we could bring some closure to the family," said New Hampshire Fish and Game Sgt. Geoffrey Pushee.

The current in the Merrimack was powerful around 7 a.m. Thursday when Bronchuk and his brother Sean Donahue, 24, also of Merrimack, set out on kayaks. Pushee says it didn't take long before they capsized and had no life jackets to hang onto.

Donahue managed to reach the shore and then call 911, as he watched the river carry his brother out of sight.

"He was very lucky to get out," said Pushee. "He admitted to me that his body was starting to shut down and starting to give up, but he was able to get ahold of a rock to regain some strength and get to shore to get some help."

Minutes after the emergency call, search crews had their boats in the water and the state police chopper overhead.

Divers entered the water early Friday morning to search again.

Hours later, they located Bronchuk's body about a third of a mile from where he was last seen.

"The victim was on the bottom of the river in about nine feet of water," explained Pushee.

Authorities are hoping this tragic loss may prevent another in the future, especially as the weather warms up and families head out on the water for the summer.

"I just wish these two would have had life jackets and we wouldn't be in the position that we are in right now," said Pushee.

The victim's family was on scene for the duration of the search, getting updates from authorities. They declined to comment on the incident.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation. Bronchuk's body will go to the State Medical Examiner’s Office to determine his exact cause of death.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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