At the Bremerton Yacht Club, Mike Babbitt left was fueling up his yacht when its engine compartment caught fire, report Robyn Merrett of celebrity and human interest news platform People and Tammy Mutasas of Komo News, an ABC-affiliated television station. Mike, a retired Boise City police detective, tells the news outlet, “I could tell right away it was more than I could do with an extinguisher.”
He acted quickly as soon his yacht was set ablaze, moving the boat into the middle of the water to prevent the flames from spreading to the other yachts at the dock. “The wind was blowing from the North. It would have blown the boat into the yacht club so I just gave it all the power I could to get it away from the yacht club,” Mike explains. But he did not just save himself, as two of his bulldogs, Pearl and Hootie, were still on the yacht.
|Photo Credit: Komo News|
Mike placed his dogs on a paddleboard before he jumped into the water. Apparently, he did not have time to put on a life vest or grab his oxygen. For five years, he served in the army in a special police unit in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he suffered a pancreatic attack. This forced him to rely on oxygen therapy throughout his lifetime. Despite that, Mike managed to save his life and his bulldogs. He narrates, “I just slid into the water and started paddling away from the fire and I could still feel the heat from the fire.”
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He was rescued by his friends before being transported to a hospital, where his wife Jamie met him. Jamie says that she could see the smoke and the coast guard helicopter during the incident. Mike and Jamie were heartbroken, as their yacht served as their primary residence after selling their home and saving enough money to “maintain a life on the water.” The couple acknowledges the need to start from scratch. However, Mike is thankful to be alive. “You have to put it in perspective that we’re still alive and we’re still together, he adds.”