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Man lost navigational system before crashing boat in New Castle

Union Leader Correspondent

October 04. 2017 10:10PM
“Patriot,” a 26-foot Parker boat, was secured to the rocks Wednesday, after its owner crashed at Fort Stark in New Castle late Tuesday night. (KIMBERLEY HAAS/Correspondent)

NEW CASTLE — A Kingston man who crashed his recreational fishing boat into a rock jetty at Fort Stark late Tuesday night said he lost his navigational system and tried to make it back to shore in the dark using a compass.

Rick Senter said Wednesday afternoon that he was out later than usual because he hooked a tuna out at Jeffreys Ledge around 3:30 p.m. Senter fought the fish for four hours before cutting the line because he no longer had any natural light.

“I always go out early in the morning in the dark, but I had never come back in the dark so it was crazy,” Senter said.

Senter travelled for 30 miles back toward the mainland and made it to the lighthouse at the mouth of the Piscataqua River. Senter said the waves were 6 to 8 feet tall out at sea, and 5 to 7 feet tall as he got closer to shore.

“I was a little stressed out. I wasn’t scared,” Senter said.

As he made his way in, Senter’s 6,000-pound, 26-foot Parker boat was swept up and it eventually landed almost on top of the jetty.

New Castle police responded to the scene at 11:57 p.m. Tuesday, and found Senter uninjured. The Coast Guard also responded to the scene.

Police Chief Donald White said it took an officer just five minutes to locate Senter based on the ping from his cellphone. White said anyone who gets caught in the same situation should try calling 911 immediately to avoid the same fate, or worse.

Senter was retrieving personal items from “Patriot” Wednesday afternoon. He said it is a total loss and expects that the boat will be removed around noon on Thursday, during high tide.

Fort Stark Historic Site is located on a peninsula called Jerry’s Point on the southeast corner of New Castle Island. It overlooks the Piscataqua River, Little Harbor and the Gulf of Maine. It is one of seven forts built to protect Portsmouth Harbor, according to a pamphlet created by

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