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Eliot residents warn of river's powerful current after teenager gets stuck

Updated: Friday, July 18 2014, 11:04 AM EDT
Eliot residents warn of river
ELIOT (WGME) -- A teenage girl is pulled from the Piscataqua River after getting caught in its powerful current.

Now, nearby residents have a warning about the river's dangerous current.

People who know the river say they’ll only dip their feet in to cool off, because the deeper you get the stronger the current. Officials say that's how a young girl ended up in life-threating situation Monday afternoon.

“She's extremely lucky,” said lifelong Eliot resident Wendy Rackliff. “There are a lot of catastrophes out here.”

But this catastrophe was averted when a boater reportedly noticed the teenager flailing in the water off the Dead Duck Boat Launch and pulled her out.

“It’s dangerous out there, very dangerous,” Rackliff said.

Like Rackliff, those who are familiar with this waterway, say this story doesn't surprise them.

“No, not at all, it happens every year,” said Bob Brindamour.

He tells us he has spent the better part of his life navigating the waterway.

“I was a professional captain for 48 years,” Brindamour said.

In those five decades, he says it wasn’t uncommon to find a swimmer in distress, who had been taken unexpectedly by the powerful current.

“I have pulled eight or 10 out of the water,” he said. “And you’re always glad when they finally get in the boat.”

Brindamour says it's a relief that boater was paying attention Monday afternoon.

“She’s very, very, very lucky,” he said.

Because in his experience, Brindamour says it only takes a moment for a story like this to take a tragic turn.

“This time of year she probably wouldn’t last a half an hour without help,” he said. “They’re fighting the current and they get more tired and more tired and then they just give up.”

By the time rescue crews got to the ramp, we’re told the boater who saved the girl had left.

Everyone who has heard the story sends a special thank you to that person for springing into action to save a life.Eliot residents warn of river's powerful current after teenager gets stuck
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