KEENE, N.H. (AP) – A Keene State College student who got caught in a river current after going over a dam in an inflatable pool has been released from the hospital and is doing fine, his friends said.

Alex Perry was treated for exhaustion and hypothermia after he and a friend tried to maneuver the Ashuelot River Park falls in the kiddie pool Friday evening. The pair had spent the afternoon floating along the river’s lazy current as it winds through the campus and debated for a while whether to go over the falls, said sophomore Samuel Wood, 21, of Laconia, who decided at the last minute to head for shore instead.

Perry, 18, and Corey Loonan, 19, headed over the falls. Wood said a crowd gathered, with some urging them to go for it and others warning that the falls were more dangerous than they looked.

“Nobody wanted to tell us to stop beforehand. It was right when we were about to go over that they started saying we should get out,” he said.

Perry of Westborough, Mass., ended up spending the night in the hospital after being trapped within the rushing current for at least 10 minutes.

“We really thought it would be fine, even when we were going over,” said Loonan of Sandwich, Mass. A certified lifeguard, Loonan managed to swim to shore shortly after the pool capsized.

Rescue personnel from the Keene Fire Department were able to pull Perry to safety after he bobbed in and out of the water several times, finally surfacing just feet from their boat. They also had to rescue a woman who jumped in to try to save him.

Loonan said Perry’s mother didn’t sound very surprised to hear of his misadventure.

“She said he does stupid stuff all the time,” Loonan said.

None of the students had heard of Mark Boucher, 33, of Ashburnham, Mass., the kayaker who is still listed in critical condition at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center after being trapped under the falls on April 6. Boucher had not gone over the falls, but was pulled in when his kayak capsized below them.


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