New Hampshire

Connecticut Couple Survives Jump Overboard After Yacht Inferno Destroys Home

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A couple from Connecticut and their dogs survived a fire onboard their home after making a last-minute decision to jump overboard.

Kitt and Diane Watson's 70-foot yacht caught fire in a New Hampshire harbor Saturday afternoon, shooting thick black smoke into the sky as towering flames tore through the boat in a matter of seconds.

"I was just scared. I thought the boat was gonna blow up," Diane Watson said.

The couple had little time to react. Together, with their boatmate, they grabbed their two golden doodles and jumped into the water.

"We couldn't get to our life jackets or our life raft because it happened so fast. We had these noodles... we jumped in the water with our dogs and swam away from the boat for fear of the 1,500 gallons of diesel fuel onboard," Kitt Watson said.

The boaters were about a hundred yards off the New Hampshire shoreline when they went overboard -- nearby lobstermen pulled them out of the water and brought them to dry land.

"I'm the captain of the ship, I don't believe you have to go down with it but I was pretty damn close," Watson said.

The yacht, "Elusive," drifted across the state line into Maine where it ultimately sank off Kittery, about two hours after the first 911 call alerting first responders to the fire.

The New Canaan couple only recently decided to live on their boat fulltime. They still don't know how the fire started, but they're grateful to be alive and look forward to getting back on the water soon.

"I'm 66, my wife's 57, we are in a position where we have to start our life over again," Watson said.

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