Boat Fire Spead ‘Frighteningly Fast’ Forcing Couple, Dogs Into River
The three people and two dogs who jumped off their boat when it caught fire Saturday afternoon called the 70-foot watercraft home.
The 70 foot Marlow named "Elusive" was near Fort Stark when fire quickly developed below deck, according to the New Hampshire State Police Marine Patrol. A thick plume of black smoke could be seen for miles.
Diane Watson, 67, of New Caanan, Connecticut, told NBC New York that she was scared and thought the boat was going to blow up. She first tried using a fire extinguisher to put out the fire, but it was already too late.
Husband Arthur "Kitt" Watson told NBC New York the fire spread "frighteningly fast."
"We grabbed a fire extinguisher from one counter, walked around to the other counter, and in seconds we could not get down the stairs," Watson said. "It was just billowing up the stairs like crazy."
The couple was released from Portsmouth Regional Hospital, and their goldendoodles will be okay following their leap into the cold ocean water. Jarrod Tubbs, 33, of Jupiter, Florida, was also on board the boat.
The boat sank to the bottom of the Piscataqua River near the border with Kittery. It will be up to the owners to make arrangements for its removal.
"The owner has a certain amount of time to work with commercial salvage teams to get it out. They can do it at their own cost or other agencies will have to step in, get it on their own, and the owner will still incur those costs," a Coast Guard spokeswoman told Seacoast Current.
The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services will monitor the environmental impact of the boat and any fuel left in the tanks.