nHOLDERNESS — No one was injured yesterday when five young men ended up in the Little Squam Lake and a boat ended up circling at a relatively high rate of speed with no one in it.
According to the New Hampshire Marine Patrol and Fire Chief Eleanor Marden, three young men and a dog were in a 14-foot Boston Whaler with a 90-horsepower outboard motor that was pulling two other men on an inner tube at 12:29 p.m.
Marden said it appeared the three men were going in circles at about 25 miles per hour and apparently hit one of their own wakes that pitched them and the dog into the water.
The boat continued in circles with the two men on the inner tube still being pulled behind it.
Marden said one of the tubers told her he didn't know whether it was safer to jump off the tube and risk being in hit by the circling boat or to hang on.
While one of them made the decision to jump after a short time, the second one road it out until the boat started to head toward a gangway.
Marden said the unmanned boat motored through the gangway that led from the shore to a dock. She said the last man on the tube jumped just before the boat plowed through it.
"I can't believe the boat didn't explode when it hit that thing," she said.
The boat continued on and landed on shore. Marden said firefighters had to search the surrounding trees to find it. The stern was snapped in two and the motor had apparently stalled.
The two tubers swam to shore. She said the men who were tossed from the boat hollered for help and, although they had begun to swim to shore, were out pretty far.
She said the man whose gangway was destroyed was the man who was trying to get to his boat to rescue the three. She said when he saw the unmanned boat heading for his gangway he retreated to shore.
Gangway destroyed, he waded to his boat and rescued the three men who were still swimming to shore.
"They were pretty shaken up, but otherwise unharmed," Marden said.
She said the two men on the tube were wearing life preservers but the three men in the boat were not.
Marden said the dog swam to shore and went home.
Marine Patrol and Marden recommend wearing life preservers at all time while boating and that a boat's driver wear the lanyard the connects the boat to the driver. A lanyard causes the motor to disengage should the driver be dislodged from a boat.