Lt. Bradley Morse
June 19, 2023
Bartlett, NH – On June 17, 2023, at 7:30 p.m., Conway Dispatch received a report of an overdue kayaker. The kayaker was identified as Mark Thompson, 69, of Conway, NH. Thompson and his son had launched their kayaks in the Saco River at the vicinity of Diana’s Bath in Bartlett and intended to paddle downstream. Shortly after embarking, Thompson and his son both capsized in a rough section of the river. Thompson’s son made it back to his kayak, but Thompson lost his kayak and swam toward shore. Thompson was last seen at approximately 2:00 p.m. walking on the shore toward the direction of route 16.
Members of North Conway Fire and Police, Bartlett Fire and Police, Center Conway Fire, and NH Fish and Game conducted a full-scale search. At approximately 11:00 p.m., a drone operated by Center Conway Fire located a heat source on an island in the river on the Bartlett side. Members of the North Conway and the Bartlett Fire Swift Water Rescue Team were able to access the island with a rubber rescue boat and eventually located Thompson shortly after midnight. Thompson was cold and wet, but otherwise unharmed. Mark was treated and transported by Bartlett-Jackson EMS.
No further information available at this time.