NH Fish and Game Department’s Law Enforcement Division Dive Team recovered the body of a Hinsdale man in the Connecticut River Thursday evening. The body has been identified as Andrew Laffond, 29 of Hinsdale. Laffond and a friend had been walking on an abandon railroad trestle that spans the Connecticut River between Hinsdale, NH and Brattleboro, VT on Wednesday night when Laffond fell into the river at approximately 8:15 PM. Witnesses called ‘911’ and rescue crews from Hinsdale and Brattleboro Fire Departments searched the immediate area around the trestle and downstream by boat but were not successful.
NH Fish and Game Conservation Officers initiated recovery efforts Thursday morning. Divers were faced with treacherous river conditions. Very strong currents and extremely poor visibility due to recent rains produced some of the most challenging diving conditions in recent memory. Conservation Officers utilized side-scan sonar to aid in identifying high probability areas to focus dive efforts. Divers recovered Laffond’s body in 44 feet of water at approximately 6:00 PM. Foul play is not suspected. Hinsdale Police Department assisted NH Fish and Game in the recovery.
As part of their search and rescue duties, Conservation Officers are frequently required to search for drowning victims. These searches can sometimes last for days and even weeks due to large search areas and difficult search conditions such as the strong currents and poor visibility experienced today. Although difficult for all involved, we are fortunate to make such a quick recovery and return a lost loved one to their family and friends quickly, allowing for closure to such a tragic event.