Abandon Ship! NY Couple Escapes Burning Boat on Hudson River

Officials investigating cause of blaze

Thursday, Aug 5, 2010  |  Updated 11:30 AM EDT
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Abandon Ship! NY Couple Escapes Burning Boat on Hudson River

Kimberly Nicholais

View of the George Washington Bridge. (Photo by Kimberly Nicholais)

Officials are investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed a 34-foot pleasure boat and forced its owners to jump into the Hudson River at Troy to escape the flames.

Edward and Linda Finnerty of Putnam Valley in Putnam County were rescued by other boaters after the fire broke out aboard their 1966 cabin cruiser around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Troy fire officials say the retired couple said they had just filled the boat's 160-gallon fuel tank when the engine began overheating and thick, black smoke billowed from below decks.

The boat burned to the waterline while drifting to the Troy side of the river, where firefighters doused the flames before the vessel sank.

The Finnertys were headed to Lake Champlain for vacation. They were left with just the clothes they were wearing after the fire destroyed all their onboard possessions.

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