LANCASTER, N.H. (AP) – A 27-year-old New Hampshire man is being credited with saving a child’s life though he lost his own in the process.

Randal Brewer’s body was recovered Sunday night, 24 hours after he jumped into the Israel River in Lancaster to rescue an 11-year-old boy. Brewer helped the boy ashore but was swept away by the current.

Authorities said the 38-degree river temperature probably made it harder for Brewer to save himself.

“The 11-year-old had a cast on his arm and got into difficulty,” said Fish and Game Sgt. Irving “Chip” Joseph. Brewer “jumped in to help and he got into difficulty himself after he helped the boy ashore and the current swept him away.”

Saturday’s warm weather drew swimmers to the river, which was above normal levels from the melting snowpack.

Lancaster Fire Department spokesman Mike Kopp said Brewer was last seen downstream from a snowmobile bridge.

The search included the Israel and Connecticut rivers and nearby, flooded cornfields. Brewer’s body was found about 400 yards below the bridge, near where he entered the river.

“He was here with friends and someone needed help,” said his aunt, Paula Dunn. “It didn’t surprise me when I heard what he did. He’d do almost anything for anybody.”

She said he had only recently moved back to the area.

Information from: New Hampshire Union Leader,

AP-ES-04-21-08 1253EDT

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