Arthur “Kitt” Watson and his spouse Diane may solely watch Saturday as their house — a greater than 70-foot yacht — went up in flames.
The pair and their first mate Jarrod Tubbs, in addition to the Watson’s two Goldendoodles, had jumped into the chilly Piscataqua River after flames and thick black smoke began pouring from their vessel, Too Elusive.
The Watsons spoke to NBC New York’s Adam Harding just about on Sunday from Maine the place they’re staying with household in the meanwhile as they determine what to do subsequent.
The couple had been residing on their boat for over a yr with their two canine and Tubbs. They left Buzzards Bay Saturday morning and had been on their approach to Maine after they smelled smoke as they had been coming into Little Harbor in New Fort, New Hampshire, round 4 p.m.
“It was a matter of 15 seconds from the time we smelled the smoke to the time the flames had been simply billowing, it was probably the most scary, harrowing expertise we ever had,” Kitt Watson, 66, revealed.
“I mentioned, ‘seize the noodles, seize a canine, and let’s go, we gotta get off this boat,'” Diane Watson, 57, recalled, noting they could not get to the life vests that had been on board.
Kitt Watson estimates they had been 100 yards from Wentworth Marina after they all jumped into the water. He says he hesitated for a second, figuring out how chilly it might be.
The Watsons say they swam away from the boat, given it was on hearth and there have been 1,500 gallons of diesel gas on board.
“I used to be simply scared, I believed the boat was going to explode,” Diane Watson shared.
As they used pool noodles to remain afloat, their belongings continued to burn proper earlier than their eyes.
“Our entire lives had been on that boat,” Kitt Watson mentioned.
“It occurred so quick, it was simply scary how briskly this occurred,” Kitt Watson mentioned.
“And how briskly it burned,” Diane Watson added. “…it is one thing you see on TV.”
Kitt Watson estimates they had been within the water for 5-10 minutes, lengthy sufficient for hypothermia to set in, earlier than assist arrived.
Diane Watson and Tubbs, in addition to the canine, had been picked up by a lobsterman, whereas a second Good Samaritan grabbed Kitt Watson from the water.
The Watsons and Tubbs, 33, had been had been taken to a hospital, handled and launched. They’re glad to be alive and say all people went above and past to assist them within the aftermath.
The couple says individuals had been so useful taking good care of them, getting them garments, getting them to the hospital, and taking good care of their canine.
“Simply superb, all people reached out,” Kitt Watson mentioned.
“It was lovely,” Diane Watson added.
As for his or her yacht, the Coast Guard known as to allow them to know that regardless of efforts to put it aside, the boat drifted into Maine waters and ultimately sank about two hours after the preliminary 911 name.
“We’ve got to begin our entire life over once more as a result of we misplaced all the things,” Kitt Watson shared, earlier than his spouse added, “However we’re simply so grateful to be alive, so grateful.”
The couple, from New Canaan, Connecticut, says they don’t know how the hearth began however each are adamant that this incident is not going to deter them from residing the boat way of life once more.
The Watsons need to proceed their journey, saying they’re each obsessed with being out on the water, so for now they’re determining the best way to rebuild.
“At this time we went out and purchased sneakers and socks, and we gotta begin over, simply in the future at a time, take it in the future at a time,” Diane Watson mentioned.
However till they obtain the insurance coverage cash that can enable them to buy one other boat — one thing that can take some time, they are saying — the Watsons should keep on dry land. Meantime, they’re grateful for the assist of household and mates, and know this might have ended very in another way.