Three people were rescued by a private boat when their pleasure craft went up in flames in the Piscataqua River Saturday afternoon.

The 70 foot Marlow named "Elusive" was near Fort Stark when a passenger noticed thick black smoke below deck, according to New Hampshire State Police. Three people and two dogs jumped overboard as the fire quickly engulfed the boat, sending a plume of black smoke into the air.

The Portsmouth Fire Department's Marine 1 was first on the scene and was soon joined by the Newington and Salisbury Fire Departments, along with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Pleasure craft on fire in the Piscataqua River near Fort Stark 6/18/22
Pleasure craft on fire in the Piscataqua River near Fort Stark 6/18/22 (Robert Nettles)
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Pleasure craft on fire in the Piscataqua River near Fort Stark 6/18/22
Pleasure craft on fire in the Piscataqua River near Fort Stark 6/18/22 (NH State Police)
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The occupants of the boat — Arthur Watson, 67, Diane Watson, 67 of New Caanan, Connecticut and Jarrod Tubbs, 33, of Jupiter, Florida, were brought to Wentworth Marina and treated by the New Castle Fire Department, and then transported to Portsmouth Regional Hospital for treatment of minor injuries and hypothermia.

The boat drifted across the state line into Kittery near buoy 2KR., and sank two hours after catching fire, according to State Police. The Coast Guard and NH Department of Environmental Services will monitor the wreckage for environmental impacts.

Pleasure craft on fire in the Piscataqua River near Fort Stark 6/18/22
Pleasure craft on fire in the Piscataqua River near Fort Stark 6/18/22 (Portsmouth Fire Department)
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Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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