P/cloudy
28°
P/cloudy
Hi 42° | Lo 19°

Girl unharmed after getting caught in Merrimack River current in Concord

  • Police officers talk to Ayla Mauk (second from right) and John Mauk (right) after being found in Concord on Thursday, July 4, 2013. John Mauk, of Concord, jumped into the Merrimack River to rescue his daughter, Ayla, after she failed to reach shore while riding an inflatable tube on the river. According to witnesses, two unidentified people helped John and Ayla Mauk to shore. <br/><br/>TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff

    Police officers talk to Ayla Mauk (second from right) and John Mauk (right) after being found in Concord on Thursday, July 4, 2013. John Mauk, of Concord, jumped into the Merrimack River to rescue his daughter, Ayla, after she failed to reach shore while riding an inflatable tube on the river. According to witnesses, two unidentified people helped John and Ayla Mauk to shore.

    TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff

  • Members of the Concord Fire Department set out on the Merrimack River in search of John and Ayla Mauk in Concord on Thursday, July 4, 2013. John Mauk, of Concord, jumped into the Merrimack River to rescue his daughter, Ayla, after she failed to reach shore while riding an inflatable tube on the river. According to witnesses, two unidentified people helped John and Ayla Mauk to shore. <br/><br/>TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff

    Members of the Concord Fire Department set out on the Merrimack River in search of John and Ayla Mauk in Concord on Thursday, July 4, 2013. John Mauk, of Concord, jumped into the Merrimack River to rescue his daughter, Ayla, after she failed to reach shore while riding an inflatable tube on the river. According to witnesses, two unidentified people helped John and Ayla Mauk to shore.

    TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff

  • Master Police Officer Eric Crane, right, and bystanders, inlcuding Gary "Crabby" LaCroix (left), look on as the Concord Fire Department searches for John and Ayla Mauk in the Merrimack River in Concord on Thursday, July 4, 2013. John Mauk, of Concord, jumped into the Merrimack River to rescue his daughter, Ayla, after she failed to reach shore while riding an inflatable tube on the river. According to witnesses, two unidentified people helped John and Ayla Mauk to shore. <br/><br/>TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff

    Master Police Officer Eric Crane, right, and bystanders, inlcuding Gary "Crabby" LaCroix (left), look on as the Concord Fire Department searches for John and Ayla Mauk in the Merrimack River in Concord on Thursday, July 4, 2013. John Mauk, of Concord, jumped into the Merrimack River to rescue his daughter, Ayla, after she failed to reach shore while riding an inflatable tube on the river. According to witnesses, two unidentified people helped John and Ayla Mauk to shore.

    TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff

  • Police officers talk to Ayla Mauk (second from right) and John Mauk (right) after being found in Concord on Thursday, July 4, 2013. John Mauk, of Concord, jumped into the Merrimack River to rescue his daughter, Ayla, after she failed to reach shore while riding an inflatable tube on the river. According to witnesses, two unidentified people helped John and Ayla Mauk to shore. <br/><br/>TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff
  • Members of the Concord Fire Department set out on the Merrimack River in search of John and Ayla Mauk in Concord on Thursday, July 4, 2013. John Mauk, of Concord, jumped into the Merrimack River to rescue his daughter, Ayla, after she failed to reach shore while riding an inflatable tube on the river. According to witnesses, two unidentified people helped John and Ayla Mauk to shore. <br/><br/>TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff
  • Master Police Officer Eric Crane, right, and bystanders, inlcuding Gary "Crabby" LaCroix (left), look on as the Concord Fire Department searches for John and Ayla Mauk in the Merrimack River in Concord on Thursday, July 4, 2013. John Mauk, of Concord, jumped into the Merrimack River to rescue his daughter, Ayla, after she failed to reach shore while riding an inflatable tube on the river. According to witnesses, two unidentified people helped John and Ayla Mauk to shore. <br/><br/>TAEHOON KIM / Monitor staff

A young Concord girl and her father were unharmed yesterday afternoon after the girl fell out of her tube while floating down the Merrimack River and her father swam after her.

Ayla Mauk, 9, was floating down the river just past the Sewalls Falls Bridge with family and friends when she passed the area where the group was supposed to come ashore. She jumped out of the tube to swim ashore but was unable to make it, and her father, John Mauk, swam out to follow her.

The Concord police and fire departments responded to the scene about 1:30 p.m. at a boat launch off Second Street, slightly downriver from where the group came ashore. Firefighters entered the river on a motorized raft to look for the missing pair, but the Mauks showed up at the scene on their own shortly after.

David Degler, a friend of the family who was tubing with them, said two boaters on the river saw Ayla and John Mauk traveling downstream without flotation devices and helped them ashore. The pair then walked back to where they had intended to exit the river.

Degler said the group put their tubes in the river in Penacook and planned to come ashore at the beach area just upriver from the Second Street entrance.

“She was just a little further out in the currents and didn’t make the turn,” he said. “She tried to swim ashore, but she didn’t make it. . . . So her father swam after her.”

Master Police Officer Eric Crane said Ayla likely missed the turn because recent heavy rains have caused the river to swell, which made their exit beach nearly nonexistent.

“They were planning on coming in at the beach here, but there’s no beach, no sand,” he said. “The little girl panicked when she saw no beach, so she just jumped in.”

Crane said young kids get swept up in the Merrimack River current a couple of times every summer.

(Mel Flanagan can be reached at 369-3321 or mflanagan@cmonitor.com.)

Legacy Comments0
There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.