Husband, wife die after rip current rescue off NH beach

Community mourns after victims identified in Seabrook, NH water rescue

SEABROOK, N.H. — Two people are dead after rip currents forced several rescues at a New Hampshire beach.

Seven swimmers were pulled from the water at Seabrook Beach, near 131 Ocean Drive, just after 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Seabrook Police said two of the people were unconscious when they were brought to shore.

Content Continues Below

The beach does not have lifeguards, but lifeguards from nearby Hampton Beach helped pull a man from the water around 12:59 p.m. The 49-year-old Methuen man, identified as Michael Cote, was taken to the hospital where he died.

"They were probably 3/4 of a mile out from what I could see," Rich Ferrara said. "Pretty intense."

Cote's 47-year-old wife Laura was transported to the hospital and was pronounced dead Monday morning.

"We were devastated at Mass this morning," Father Sean Maher from St. Francis of Assisi said. "People were crying, I was crying. They were so well-known and loved, that everybody is feeling as if it's the loss of a family member."

Officials say the Cotes were visiting friends at the beach.

"I've never seen anything like that, where so many people were in trouble," Ferrara said.

Seabrook Police said an officer helped several of the people to shore before helping in the search for the last person, who was unaccounted for at the time.

"One of the police arrived and stripped down, took off his gun belt," Ferrara said. "He dove into the water and started swimming out because there were people screaming that there were girls missing."

The officer was one of the first to jump in, helping to bring everyone involved to shore.

"He pulled a woman in, she wasn't breathing when he finally got her in," Linda Farrell said.

The Seabrook Fire Department, along with Seabrook Beach Patrol were the main responding agencies in the incident.