Community in ‘Deep Mourning’ After Methuen Couple Drowns at Seabrook Beach

Methuen's Michael and Laura Cote died after being swept up by a rip current at New Hampshire's Seabrook Beach. (Courtesy photograph)

Methuen’s Michael and Laura Cote died after being swept up by a rip current at New Hampshire’s Seabrook Beach. (Courtesy photograph)

A Merrimack Valley community is in “deep mourning” following the sudden deaths of Methuen couple Michael and Laura Cote, who perished in a drowning incident last weekend at New Hampshire’s Seabrook Beach.

The couple’s priest at Dracut’s Saint Francis Church issued a statement on behalf of the parish expressing sympathy to the Cote family and the couple’s friends in their time of grief.

“We are deeply saddened to have learned that Michael and Laura Cote, both truly devoted followers of Christ, have passed away,” the statement from Father Sean Maher read in part. “They were so involved in every spiritual and other undertaking in this parish that many of us are in deep mourning.”

Maher remembered the couple as deeply religious and said the pair “did so much to come to know Jesus . . . in this life that they are truly going to meet a friend.”

Funeral arrangements for 49-year-old Michael and 47-year-old Laura have not yet been announced, the priest said.

New Hampshire State Police told WHAV that the couple was pulled from “choppy water conditions” on Sunday afternoon around 12:30 p.m. along with four other swimmers. The Cotes were taken to separate area hospitals, with Michael pronounced dead at Newburyport’s Anna Jacques Hospital a short time after the accident. His wife died on Monday.

Officer Nicholas Haroutunian of the State Police Marine Patrol division told WHAV aid was administered to those swept up in the rip current by fellow beachgoers and teams from the U.S. Coast Guard and the Seabrook Fire Departments, among others. The investigation is ongoing, Haroutunian said.