Man Drowns in Lake Winnipesaukee

Samantha Fowler

On Saturday, January 1st, a 20-year-old Framingham man, Andre Rubert, drowned at 11 pm in New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee. Rubert was with three other people when their canoe and the two-person kayak flipped in the freezing water. None of the people were wearing life jackets.


On New years day, 4 Massachusetts men wanted to paddle from Wolfeboro to Grant Island. According to the Laconia Daily Sun, “After the vessels capsized, the occupants attempted to swim to shore, using the boats as floatation devices.” A nearby habitant of the island heard the frantic motion and launched the 2nd canoe and saved three out of the four people. 


On New Years Day, the water was 38 degrees Fahrenheit, which can quickly put somebody into hypothermia. According to the CDC, “ Hypothermia is caused by prolonged exposures to cold temperatures. When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it’s produced.” Like most bodily issues, there are stages that the body will go through during hypothermia. 


The website Firstaidforfree, gives information on the stages of drowning in cold water. There are four phases of drowning in cold water. The first stage is called “cold shock response” when someone gets into the water, their body will instantly make them gasp. This response to the cold temperatures will result in hyperventilating and possibly a panic attack. 


Stage two is “Cold incapacitation” which occurs anywhere between five to 15 minutes. The body will constrict the blood vessels to conserve body heat to the vital organs. This also means that they will lose blood to the extremities, which will result in no movement of arms or legs. Unless they are wearing a life jacket, most likely, they will sink. 


The third stage is Hypothermia, meaning that now the organs will stop working. 


Stage four is death. Death will occur if someone is not rescued or given proper life-saving methods. Andre Rubert went through this process when he drowned, and the process was accelerated due to the water being only 38 degrees and having no life jacket on. 


On January 2nd, According to, “[Andre Rupert] was recovered from 15 feet of water by New Hampshire Fish and Game and Wolfeboro Fire Rescue” The reason why the men were paddling to Grant Island at 11 pm is still unknown, and the specifics of the investigation are confidential. The men also were not wearing proper clothing when they fell in the water. 


The Red Cross recommends that you should always wear a life jacket around cold water, and more specifically it helps keep body heat in. In the event that you fall into freezing cold water, get into the HELP position. “Heat Escape Lessening Posture. While wearing a life jacket: pull your knees up to your chest. Keep your face forward and your head out of the water. Hold your upper arms at your sides and fold your lower arms across your chest, as if hugging yourself.” 


Like the event that occurred on the lake, multiple people were in the water. In this case, you would huddle together and put your arms around each other and keep your chests together to conserve heat. 


The friend that saved the three men has not released a statement about the incident. Andre Rubert was born in Brazil, and his guest book is full of love from his Brazilian family members. Andre Rubert’s family remembers him as having a “good attitude and likable personality” 


More details of this investigation have been confidential and detectives will find out why exactly the men were on the water at that time.