Three people and two family dogs were rescued after having to jump from a burning yacht after the 70-foot vessel caught on fire in a New Hampshire harbor on Saturday, authorities said.
statement Saturday that they were alerted to the incident on the Piscataqua River, near Little Harbor in New Castle, at around 4 p.m., with their Marine Patrol units arriving on the scene within minutes.
The vessel, a 2007 Marlow named “Elusive,” had been headed toward Wentworth Marina when a passenger noticed black smoke below deck, police said.
The yacht filled with smoke within minutes and the three passengers and two family dogs were forced to jump overboard as the boat became engulfed in flames, they said. The passengers and the two dogs were rescued by nearby boats and taken to shore, police added.
It is unclear what caused the vessel to catch fire, but in a photo shared by the regional U.S. Coast Guard, the boat could be seen fully ablaze, with black smoke billowing overhead.
The three passengers, who have been identified as Arthur Watson, 67, and Diane Watson, 57, both of New Canaan, Connecticut, and Jarrod Tubbs, 33, of Jupiter, Florida, were taken to Portsmouth Hospital, where they were treated and later released, police said.
Authorities later provided an update confirming that the two dogs were also “safe and doing well.”
Police said the yacht had drifted out of the harbor with the outgoing tide across the state line into Maine. Several agencies tried to retrieve the boat, but were unsuccessful and it sank into waters off Kittery, a town in York County, within two hours of the initial call.
A number of agencies responded to the incident, including the U.S. Coast Guard, the Portsmouth Fire Department, the Kittery Harbor Master, the Newington Fire Department, the Salisbury, MA Fire department and the Rye Fire Department, police said.