ISLIP - Bay constables in the Town of Islip are hoping to be thrown a line after the town's budget troubles cost them their jobs.

Effective Dec. 31, the Islip Town Bay Constable Unit saw its budget slashed due to the town's towering deficit. The unit had patrolled the Great South Bay and all of the canals from Bayport to Babylon, and out to Fire Island.

Members of the division who lost their jobs say they are worried about public safety in the wake of the budget cuts. But town officials argue that boaters will still be safe because the Suffolk County Police Marine Patrol and the U.S. Coast Guard will keep watch over the waterways.

Town Councilman Anthony Senft says the town has spent more than $700,000 per year on the harbor patrol, money that he says can't be justified to taxpayers when other units are just as capable.

Islip residents say they worry of BWI incidents or drownings with less patrols on the water.