New Hampshire

Mass. man drowns trying to rescue wife, step-son from fast-moving NH river

The victim has been identified as Vincent Parr, 37, of Lawrence, Massachusetts

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A 37-year-old Massachusetts man died while trying to rescue his wife and step-son from a fast-moving river in New Hampshire on Sunday afternoon.

New Hampshire State Police said they received a call around 12:33 p.m. for a possible drowning in the Swift River in Albany.

Their preliminary investigation showed that a family from Massachusetts was on the Passaconaway roadside of the Swift River, east of the Albany covered bridge. The mother and child became stuck in an area with fast-moving water, and the father jumped in to attempt to rescue them but ultimately got caught up in the current himself.

The mother and child made it to shore safely, state police said. Bystanders helped bring the man to the shoreline where CPR was performed, but he was ultimately pronounced dead.

State police identified the man as Vincent Parr, of Lawrence. An investigation into his death is ongoing.

Parr's effort to rescue someone in trouble was typical of him, his mother, Becca Parr, said Monday.

“From the day he was born, he was so selfless,'' she said. “I know he didn't think for a moment, ‘I could die,’ he just did what he could. He was a loving soul, kind-hearted and never put himself first."

State police were assisted on scene by State Police Marine Patrol, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement, U.S. Forest Service Rangers, and the Conway Fire Department.

Parr’s death remains under investigation, and the State Police Marine Patrol is asking witnesses to come forward, authorities said. Anyone who witnessed the incident or has additional details is asked to contact state police Marine Patrol Lt. Crystal McLain at 603-227-2113 or

The Swift River is a 25-mile-long river in New Hampshire's White Mountains. It is a tributary of the Saco River, which flows to the Atlantic Ocean in Maine.

Nearly 4,000 people die from drowning every year in the U.S., and here’s what the U.S. Swim School Association and the American Red Cross say you should do if someone is drowning.

Just last Tuesday, another Massachusetts family was visiting Franconia Falls in the White Mountains National Forest when a mother drowned trying to save her 10-year-old son, who had slipped and fallen into the water. Melissa Bagley's husband, Lt. Sean Bagley of the Everett Police Department, tried to revive her but was unable to.

The deaths of Parr and Bagley occurred about 20 miles apart in the White Mountain National Forest.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

NBC/The Associated Press
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