Search for 6-year-old in Merrimack River turns into recovery

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The search for a 6-year-old boy missing off Deer Island in the Merrimack River has gone into recovery mode.

The boy’s mother chased her son and 7-year-old daughter on a fishing trip with her family on Thursday night and ended up in the water. She was able to hoist her daughter onto a fishing boat which offered help but was unable to board. She later died at Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport.

The search for the boy resumed Friday morning with ten divers, side-scan sonars and the Massachusetts State Police Aviation Unit before going into recovery mode.

Newburyport Fire Chief Christopher LeClaire said Friday morning the search was focused on the water and shore where the boy is thought to have fallen into the water. The main challenge for divers is the fast flowing river.

A road trip turns tragic

State police told the WCVB that the boy caught something in the water when he went with his father to their car to pick up some gear. The father jumped into the water when he saw his wife and daughter but ran into trouble.

The mother and daughter were swept away by the fast current under Whittier Bridge and west, police told WCVB.

The family name has not been released by the police.

Agencies involved in the search include the Massachusetts Environmental Police, United States Coast Guard, Massachusetts Fire Department, Cataldo Ambulance, Seacoast Chief Fire Department Mutual Aid District, Captain of the Newbury Port and Amesbury Police. The fire departments of Amesbury, Merrimac, Salisbury, Haverhill and East Kingston also help each other.

Contact journalist Dan Alexander at [email protected] or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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