Passengers, dogs jump overboard as fire engulfs boat on New Hampshire river

NEW CASTLE, N.H. — A 70-foot boat sank after catching fire on a New Hampshire river Saturday afternoon.

The fire broke out around 4 p.m. as the boat traveled down the Piscataqua River.

New Hampshire State Police said a passenger on the “Elusive,” a 70-foot 2007 Marlow, noticed black smoke below deck as the boat headed toward Wentworth Marina, near Little Harbor in Newcastle.

Within minutes, the entire boat filled with smoke. The three passengers on board, as well as two family dogs, jumped overboard as the flames spread, police said.

They were pulled from the water by another boat and taken to the hospital with minor injuries and hypothermia, according to the Portsmouth, N.H. Fire Department.

The boat was fully engulfed in flames by 5:37 p.m., the U.S. Coast Guard said. It drifted out of the harbor and across the state line into Maine, where efforts to save it were unsuccessful.

Within two hours of the initial call, the boat sank off Kittery, Maine, New Hampshire State Police said.

The boat eventually drifted away and sank, the department said.

The wreckage will be monitored for environmental impacts.

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