Dateline: Petit Martinique, Grenada (guest post courtesy of Chas. “May I Cast Off Now?” Lassen, fugitive and crew aboard charter vessel Tiando)
It was 6:30 a.m. when Susan “Sooky” Lassen took her dog, Phoebe, on a short boat ride from the island where they lived to a dock in Portsmouth, NH. It was a trip she had often made, but this time it was nearly fatal.
Her husband had warned her about the balky gearbox and had often told her to respect the huge tides and frigid waters of the fast-flowing Piscataqua River. As she approached the dock, she could not engage reverse gear and was thrown on to the dock by the collision. The tide swiftly took the boat, with Ms. Lassen’s beloved Phoebe on it, in its grip.
With great presence of mind Ms. Lassen jumped into the icy water and grabbed a line from the boat. Gripping it in her teeth, she swam the boat back to the dock and tied it to a cleat. In her weakened state she clung to the side of the dock, and her plaintive cries were heard by Ms. Normandeau, the proprietor of the Chandlers Loft. She rushed down to the dock and wrestled Ms. Lassen out of the water.
The Portsmouth police and the U.S. Coast Guard, who inspected the vessel for evidence of foul play, observed that Ms. Lassen was within minutes of the onset of possibly fatal hypothermia when she was rescued. The case is under continuing investigation, and the prime suspect is Mr. Lassen, who was said to be vacationing in Grenada and currently is being sought by Interpol for questioning. Speculation has focussed on the balky motor and the deliberate lack of safety instruction by the husband.
A call to Mr. Lassen’s cell phone was answered by Bernadette, a young West Indian girl who declined to comment but passed this reporter to Mr. Lassen’s lawyer, S. Lapidow Esq., who stated: “You ain’t got nuttin on my client.”
Ms. Lassen is safe, but the investigation continues.