July 19, 2013

Lightning strikes send two boats to bottom of Lake Winnipesaukee

The Associated Press

MOULTONBOROUGH, N.H. — Recent lightning strikes from New Hampshire storms caused a two-boat fire that left the remains of the vessels at the bottom of Lake Winnipesaukee.

Firefighters said lightning struck one of the boats early Thursday in Moultonborough at the docks at the Quayside Yacht Club. The second boat caught on fire. One boat was a 22-foot sailboat and the other was a 28-foot runabout.

No one was aboard the boats at the time.

Moultonborough Fire Chief David Bengtson told The Citizen that it appears the fire started after the sailboat's mast was struck by lightning, and the fire moved to the other boat because of the proximity of the two vessels.

In the area of the yacht club where the two boats were parked, boats are anchored side by side with dock access on either the boat's starboard or port side, but not both.

"This has happened before in Moultonborough a few years ago, not too far from where this happened," Bengtson said. "Another sailboat got hit by lightning, but there was no fire. It just came down, blew a hole in the bottom and the boat sank."

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