CHARLESTOWN, N.H. (AP) – Officials on Thursday recovered the ill-fated rescue boat that sank in the Connecticut River this week, drowning an injured woman it was taking to an ambulance.

Divers attached air bags to the 15-foot Cornish Rescue crew airboat and brought it to the surface just before noon. Investigators will examine the boat to see if they can figure out why it suddenly did a nose dive and sank Tuesday afternoon.

“We’ll be going through the whole boat,” said Sgt. Eric Robertson of the state Marine Patrol. “Bow to stern, everything.”

“We want to find out whether or not the boat answers questions or raises questions,” Sullivan County Attorney Marc Hathaway said. “If it raises questions, we’re going to do more interviews. If it answers questions, then we’re heading in the right direction.”

The state’s Division of Fire Standards and Training also is launching its own investigation.

The boat is made by a company called Yankee Airboats in Sebago, Maine. The owner of the business told WMUR-TV that there’s no weight capacity for any airboat, and that they’re made for shallow-water use, such as in swamps and ice.

Virginia Yates of Rockingham, Vt., 64, was strapped to a backboard and rescue gurney on the boat, and went under with it. Rescuers tried to save her, but could not.

A funeral was planned for Saturday.


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