North Smithfield man dies in paragliding accident - News, Weather and Classifieds for Southern New England

North Smithfield man dies in paragliding accident

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Alvaro Etcheverry Alvaro Etcheverry
A paramotor in flight. Photo courtesy of A paramotor in flight. Photo courtesy of

Authorities on Monday released the name of the Rhode Island man who died in a paramotoring accident in Massachusetts over the weekend.

Police said 49-year-old Alvaro Etcheverry, of North Smithfield, plunged into the Merrimack River in Newburyport about 50 yards from shore on Saturday afternoon.

The Coast Guard pulled him from the 38-degree water after about 20 minutes, but Etcheverry never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead.

Police said the heavy motor strapped to his back made it difficult to pull him from the water.

Police said two of Etcheverry's friends who were with him went into the water to save him, but retreated because of the cold. They were treated for hypothermia.

Police said the men had been paramotoring, also called power paragliding, for most of the afternoon and were completing one last loop when witnesses noticed the victim's motor was having mechanical problems.

Police said paramotoring is a popular activity in the summertime in Newburyport, but said it’s uncommon in the winter and dangerous.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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