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Passengers And Dogs Forced To Jump Overboard As 70-Foot Yach Becomes Engulfed In Flames

Passengers And Dogs Forced To Jump Overboard As 70-Foot Yach Becomes Engulfed In Flames

The dogs were unharmed

Three people and two family dogs have been rushed to hospital after being forced to jump from a 70ft tall yacht to save themselves after the vessel caught ablaze.

According to New Hampshire authorities, the ship, known as The Elusive, was heading down the Piscataqua River at around 4pm on Sunday afternoon when a passenger noticed black smoke starting to billow out of a room on the lower decks.

“According to passengers, within minutes the boat was completely filled with smoke,” police said in a statement on Facebook.

“Three passengers, as well as two family dogs, jumped overboard as the boat became engulfed in flames.”

The Coast Guard and the New Hampshire State Police Marine Patrol both later posted photos of the incident on social media, in which flames and thick black smoke can be seen pouring from the vessel.

The three passengers onboard were later identified as husband and wife Arthur Watson, 67, and Diane Watson, 57, both of New Canaan, Connecticut, and their first mate, Jarrod Tubbs, 33, of Jupiter, Florida.

The trio were taken to hospital after being spotted floating in the river by fellow sailors, where they were diagnosed with mild hypothermia and other injuries and have since been released.

Authorities also posted an update confirming that the two dogs had also been rescued and that they were both unharmed, confirming that the duo were “safe and doing well.”

"The vessel drifted out of the harbour with the outgoing tide across the state line into Maine," police said. 

"Efforts by several agencies to save the boat were unsuccessful. Within two hours of the initial call, the boat sank in waters off Kittery, ME."

Speaking to NBC News Boston the day after the incident, Mr and Mrs Watson, who had been living on the yacht for over a year, said the decision to jump ship was an instinctual, split-second decision.

“It was a matter of 15 seconds from the time we smelled the smoke to the time the flames were just billowing, it was the most frightening, harrowing experience we ever had,” Mr Watson told NBC.

“I was just scared, I thought the boat was going to blow up,” Ms Watson added. "I said, ‘grab the noodles, grab a dog, and let’s go, we gotta get off this boat'."

Thankfully, nobody was harmed in the frightening incident.
New Hampshire State Police

“Our whole lives were on that boat,” Mr Watson said, adding that 'it happened so fast, it was just frightening how fast this happened'.

The two dogs, alongside the adult passengers, were recovering well after the frightening brush with death, according to the New Hampshire State Marine Patrol.

"They are doing fine physically, but are mentally still trying to process everything," a spokesperson for the Marine Patrol later told ABC News. “Their dogs (golden doodles) are doing well. This boat was their home.”

Featured Image Credit: New Hampshire Police Dept

Topics: US News