3 People and 2 Dogs Safe After Jumping from Burning Houseboat in N.H.: 'Very Lucky' (Police)

All three passengers were treated and released at a hospital in New Hampshire after jumping from the burning boat with their two dogs, who are also safe

A boat on fire on the Piscataqua River
Boat on fire in New Hampshire. Photo: New Hampshire State Police

Three people and two dogs are safe after the 70-foot yacht they were aboard caught fire while out on a New Hampshire river.

State police said Saturday night that the group "jumped overboard as the boat became engulfed in flames" just after 4 p.m. that day, naming the passengers as Arthur Watson, 67, Diane Watson, 57, and Jarrod Tubbs, 33.

In their Facebook post, N.H. State Police shared images of the boat on fire in the Piscataqua River, with flames and smoke billowing out of the vessel.

According to police, the people "were rescued by nearby boats and taken to shore. All three were transported to Portsmouth Hospital, where they were treated and released."

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A boat on fire on the Piscataqua River
Rescue of boat on fire in New Hampshire. New Hampshire State Police

"The boat fire occurred on Little Harbor," officials said in a Sunday update, via a comment on their Facebook post. "The dogs are safe and doing well."

Shortly after the incident, the regional U.S. Coast Guard shared a photo of the boat on fire and revealed that "@USCG Station Portsmouth Harbor, NH Marine Patrol & @portsmouthnhfd [were] responding."

"Both reported people onboard the vessel were assisted by a good samaritan and are uninjured," they tweeted.

N.H. State Police reported in their Facebook post that the boat, named Elusive, was "a 70-foot 2007 Marlow" and "heading toward Wentworth Marina when a passenger noticed black smoke below deck."

"According to passengers, within minutes the boat completely filled with smoke," they said.

"The vessel drifted out of the harbor with the outgoing tide across the state line into Maine. Efforts by several agencies to save the boat were unsuccessful," officials added. "Within two hours of the initial call, the boat sank in waters off Kittery, ME."

State Police Marine Patrol Sergeant Stephen O'Connor told local station WMUR-TV of the rescue, "We're very lucky the tide was going out because this was at the mouth of Little Harbor."

"If the tide was coming in there's a good chance the boat would have drifted into Wentworth Marina and that would have been a disaster," he also said, adding of the passengers, who sustained minor injuries, "This boat was their home. They lived on this boat, so everything they owned was gone."

"The two dogs are just fine. Someone at the marina took the dogs, took care of them, and actually took the dogs to the hospital," O'Connor also said. "When they were discharged the dogs were out there waiting for them. They're all reunited, and everybody is just fine."

The cause of the fire is unknown, but N.H. State Police urge anyone with information related to the incident to contact O'Connor at Stephen.J.O'Connor@dos.nh.gov or (603) 227-2117.

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