Man risks life to save dogs from burning yacht

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BREMERTON, Wa. (WFLA/CNN) — A Washington man risked his life to save his two dogs after his yacht sank after catching fire Friday.

When their yacht went up in flames, Mike and Jamie Babbit didn’t just lose a boat, they lost their home.

“It’s overwhelming that we have to start from scratch,” Mike Babbit said.

Smoke from the engine compartment somehow quickly turned into a large orange ball of flames.

“And I can tell right away that it was just more than I was gonna be able to do with an extinguisher.”

Babbit’s first instinct was to move the burning boat out into the middle of the bay so the fire wouldn’t spread.

“The wind was blowing from the north. That would have blown the boat back into the yacht club. So I just gave it all the power I could to get it away from the yacht club,” Babbit said.

He then went to task saving his bulldogs Hootie and Pearl. He put the 70 and 80 pound dogs on a paddle-board before jumping into the water.

“I didn’t even grab my own vest, I just slid into the water and started paddling away from the fire and I could still feel the heat from the fire.,” he said.

Some friends rescued Babbit and the dogs. He was taken to a nearby hospital where his wife met him.

“You just have to put it in perspective that we’re still alive and we’re still together. We’ll just take it a day at a time and figure out the path we’re going to walk next,” Babbit said.

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