NH Firefighters Save Dad, Kids from Flooded River

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A New Hampshire father is grateful that he and his two young daughters are alive after they were rescued from the rain-swollen Merrimack River.

Martin Goulet, 45, was jet skiing with his seven and 9-year-old daughters when they all fell off and their jet ski went over the Amoskeag Falls.

Rescuers say the family was just seconds from losing their grip on a line of red buoys -- the last thing between them and a certain death.   

"We saw them all three hanging on to that cable that was down there. I saw the two little girls on either side of the dad and knew that that's who we had to grab first," recalled Josh Guay, firefighter with the Manchester Fire Department.

"Everything better go right or it could be catastrophic for the responders and obviously the family," Manchester Fire Department Lt. Paul Smith recalled thinking.
   
The Goulets were successfully rescued, but officials say it was a very close call. In fact, Manchester Fire Department Chief Al Poulin said it was the closest rescue he's seen in 29 years.

"We're talking seconds from letting go and there was nothing between them and the falls," he said.
   
The two girls were pulled out first then the father.After he was in the boat he immediately jumped up looking for his daughters. When he saw they were safe -- he collapsed.

"The gentleman was very cold, very frightened," one of the rescuers said. "Afterwards he was very disappointed in himself. But he saved his own family -- first by having PFDs on and then by keeping them all together."
    
The family was taken to a local hospital where they're said to be doing well.

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Charlene  Aaron

Charlene Aaron

CBN News Reporter

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter and helps anchor for the CBN News Channel.  Follow her on Twitter @CharNews and "like" her at Facebook.com/CharleneIsraelCBNNews.