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This Is Not How You Put a Kayak in the Water

A minivan rolled into the Lebanon side of the Wilder Dam on Saturday, Aug. 3. Photo Courtesy – Arthur T. Hemingway

A minivan rolled into the Lebanon side of the Wilder Dam on Saturday, Aug. 3. Photo Courtesy – Arthur T. Hemingway

Lebanon — Wilder resident Arthur Hemingway went to take some photos of birds at the Wilder Dam over the weekend, and instead found himself enthralled by a different subject: a submerged minivan on the New Hampshire side of the river.

The owner of the golden minivan apparently had tried to launch a kayak in Lebanon — without much luck.

“We were sitting down on the Vermont side, at the Kilowatt Park boat launch there,” said Hemingway’s girlfriend, Randolph resident Mary Bell, “and these people came down with this vehicle (on the Lebanon side), and they went to put the kayak in, and I don’t know if they hadn’t set the brake or what, but all at once the car was in the water. I mean, it took a minute and a half for that thing to go under.”

Fire Captain Jim Wheatley said Lebanon police and fire responded to the scene around 2:30 p.m. Saturday. A towing company was called and the car was pulled out with the help of an underwater diver, who hitched the rig to the car.

“I believe it was probably totaled due to water damage,” Wheatley said.

Police and fire officials could not immediately say last night who owned the vehicle.

Bell said it was past 6 o’clock once the minivan was up on a flatbed truck. Hemingway took 98 photos, she said.

“The amazing part,” she said, “was that the kayak was still attached.”