Thetford man dies after boat capsizes in Groton, Vt.

By JOHN LIPPMAN

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 09-05-2023 7:03 PM

THETFORD — A 32-year-old Thetford man and 2010 graduate of Thetford Academy who was described as an “avid huntsman” died in a boating accident in Caledonia County on Sunday, according to police and family members.

Kristophere Perkins was one of three people in a small boat on Levi Pond in Groton, Vt., on Sunday night when it capsized, police said.

The boat’s two other occupants, Perkins’ uncle, Tim Perkins, 57, of Groton, and an 8-year-old juvenile, made it to shore, police said.

Local and state emergency personnel, including a water rescue unit out of Bath, N.H., all responded to the scene around 11:30 p.m., said Wade Johnson, chief of Groton Fire Department.

Access to the pond is only available over several miles of dirt and Class 4 roads, Johnson said.

The Bath water rescue unit found oars but was not able to find the boat and floated a buoy to mark the proximate location on the pond where the capsizing occurred to assist Vermont State Police Underwater Recovery Team in its recovery efforts, he said.

The state police recovery team worked into the early Monday morning hours but had to suspend operations due to darkness before resuming the next morning using sonar, state police spokesman Adam Silverman said via email to the Valley News on Tuesday.

Members of the underwater recovery team located and retrieved Perkins’ body about 50 feet from shore at around 11 a.m. Monday.

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Investigators assess “that while the two adults were moving to swap places in the boat, it overturned,” Silverman said.

Perkins was pronounced dead on scene and his body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical examiner for autopsy.

None of the people onboard were wearing a life preserver, according to state police.

On Tuesday, members of the Perkins family, which has longtime roots in the community, were gathered outside Kristophere Perkins’ parents’ home off Sawnee Bean Road in Thetford.

Cheryl Sprang, Kristophere Perkins sister and a spokesperson for the family, said her brother was a logger and woodsman who worked alongside his father, Roger Perkins, and described her brother as an “avid huntsman,” who was “full of life” and “had the most beautiful smile.”

She declined to discuss the incident, but noted Kristophere Perkins was “a very proud father.”

Contact John Lippman at jlippman@vnews.