Airboat maker claims N.H. death due to overloaded boat

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The manufacturer of an airboat that sank last year during a fatal rescue attempt is blaming the New Hampshire rescue squad for overloading the boat.

Maine Yankee Air Boats claims the Cornish Rescue Squad overloaded the boat and used it improperly. The rescue squad argues it was not responsible for the drowning of 64-year-old Virginia Yates of Rockingham.

The rescue squad was taking Yates to an ambulance last August after she slipped on a dock, hurting her ankle. She was strapped into a litter, which was strapped onto the deck when the boat sank a few seconds after leaving the dock.

Her family sued the rescue squad, the boat maker, several communities and two mutual aid organizations, alleging they were negligent.

The rescue squad, mutual aid districts and towns named in the lawsuit deny wrongdoing.

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