BELLPORT - An ambulance boat that helps to save lives at sea was found damaged and vandalized on Sunday.
The boat is used by South Country Ambulance, and it was docked at the Bellport Marina. Its instruments were smashed, its radar and communication cords were damaged, and its oil line was cut.
"There is no other way to describe this but as a deliberate attack on the ambulance boat," says Greg Miglino, of South Country Ambulance.
Miglino says that the slashed oil line in particular posed serious risks. "This would have spewed oil into the under-workings of the boat, and a spark or anything could have caused an explosion that could have killed the rescuers," he says.
The ambulance workers are in the dark as to why their boat was damaged. "We would like to believe it was something that just happened in a stupid moment," Miglino says. "Unfortunately when you target only one vessel out of 200, we have no other choice to conclude we were targeted for a reason."
The village of Bellport says it's working with Suffolk County police and checking surveillance video to track down the perpetrators.
The damage to the boat totals nearly $10,000. The ambulance workers are using an older boat until the damage is repaired.
South Country Ambulance serves on both land and sea in the town of Brookhaven, and says the ambulance boat is needed because it also covers the Fire Island National Seashore.