NH fisherman credited with saving people, dogs from burning yacht


An investigation is underway into what caused a 70-foot yacht to burn and sink along the seacoast Saturday.Tom Hadley, of Hollis, said he was in the right place at the right time when his instincts told him to turn his little boat around and see if the yacht showing a bit of smoke needed any help.”If you even think that somebody is in distress out there, it doesn’t hurt to cruise on over and check it out to make sure that they’re OK,” Hadley said. Hadley has been driving from Hollis to his 18-foot boat on the coast for 17 years. The part-time lobster fisherman now has a tale to tell after what started as checking out smoke from the yacht at the mouth of Little Harbor on Saturday, quickly turned into a harrowing rescue.”By the time I reached the vessel it just burst into flames and was fully engulfed,” Hadley said. “Three people and two dogs were standing on a platform in the stern.” Hadley said they were holding pool noodles for floatation. He yelled to them to jump in the water, then dumped his lobster traps to make room.” At first I hauled a lady on board and then we put the two dogs on board” Hadley said. “And then a younger man was half in, I hauled him over the side.”He called over a small fishing boat to help the third man clinging to the side as the heat coming from the boat intensified. “If there was an explosion the thought of being showered with burning fiberglass was not too appealing,” Hadley said. mate, were taken to the dock at the Wentworth Marina, then to the hospital, where they were treated and released and reunited with their dogs.>> Boat that burned, sank near New Castle was home to three peopleKitt Watson was one of the three people who was rescued.”This was just arms are open, come on board, get warm, we’re going to take care of you and it really restored my faith in humanity,” Watson said. He described the moment he knew the boat was on fire. “All of a sudden, it was like a dragon was down in the cabin and lot fire up, it just, the whole boat was engulfed,” Watson said.New Castle fire Chief Theodore Hartmann said help came just in time. temperatures being what they are this time of year, the tenability of being in that water for any period of time is minimal,” Hartmann said. The tide pushed the burning yacht off the coast, where it sank in deep water. be recovered.

An investigation is underway into what caused a 70-foot yacht to burn and sink along the seacoast Saturday.

Tom Hadley, of Hollis, said he was in the right place at the right time when his instincts told him to turn his little boat around and see if the yacht showing a bit of smoke needed any help.

“If you even think that somebody is in distress out there, it doesn’t hurt to cruise on over and check it out to make sure that they’re OK,” Hadley said.

Hadley has been driving from Hollis to his 18-foot boat on the coast for 17 years. The part-time lobster fisherman now has a tale to tell after what started as checking out smoke from the yacht at the mouth of Little Harbor on Saturday, quickly turned into a harrowing rescue.

“By the time I reached the vessel it just burst into flames and was fully engulfed,” Hadley said. “Three people and two dogs were standing on a platform in the stern.”

Hadley said they were holding pool noodles for floatation. He yelled to them to jump in the water, then dumped his lobster traps to make room.

“At first I hauled a lady on board and then we put the two dogs on board,” Hadley said. “And then a younger man was half in, I hauled him over the side.”

He called over a small fishing boat to help the third man clinging to the side as the heat coming from the boat intensified.

“If there was an explosion the thought of being showered with burning fiberglass was not too appealing,” Hadley said.

The three people who lived aboard the Elusive, including a couple from Connecticut and their first mate, were taken to the dock at the Wentworth Marina, then to the hospital, where they were treated and released and reunited with their dogs.

>> Boat that burned, sank near New Castle was home to three people

Kitt Watson was one of the three people who was rescued.

“This was just arms are open, come on board, get warm, we’re going to take care of you and it really restored my faith in humanity,” Watson said.

He described the moment he knew the boat was on fire.

“All of a sudden, it was like a dragon was down in the cabin and lot fire up, it just, the whole boat was engulfed,” Watson said.

New Castle fire Chief Theodore Hartmann said help came just in time.

“The water temperatures being what they are this time of year, the tenability of being in that water for any period of time is minimal,” Hartmann said.

The tide pushed the burning yacht off the coast, where it sank in deep water. The boat will not be recovered.

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