Boat sinks after vandals drill holes

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VANDALS sank a boat and damaged two others by drilling holes in them.

The three vessels - a work boat, a fishing boat and a cabin cruiser - were damaged while they were berthed at Haslar Creek in Gosport.

Holes had been drilled in the floor of each boat by someone who had climbed onboard.

The work boat drifted away from where it was moored and sank, while the other two have only partially sunk.

David Cooke, who owns two of the damaged boats, said: 'I've had a mooring down here for 12 years and I've never had any trouble.

'I got a call from someone telling me there was a problem with the boats.

'I thought it was something simple but it turned out someone has drilled holes in the bottom of them.

'They must have gone on board and done it.

'We were hoping to sell one of the boats; we had an offer for 7,000. Now it's more like a submarine.'

It is thought three nearby dinghies could also have been damaged by the same vandals.

Mr Cooke and his friend Mark Barnes have spent months renovating one of the boats, which is now in danger of sinking.

Mr Barnes' son, Steven, owns the damaged fishing boat Plinders Bay London, which has three holes in its keel.

'There were a couple of people who had started pumping the water out of the boats when I arrived,' said Mr Barnes, 54, of Cochrane Close, Gosport.

'I'm gutted. It's quite upsetting. Nothing has been stolen, though. They have let the ropes go so the boats drifted out as well.

'They each have three or four holes in. Thankfully someone managed to tie more ropes down.

'One has gone quite far away and sunk. It's dangerous.

'I have got to try and make it secure, and refloat it, in case other boats might come along and hit it as its hidden beneath the water.'

The fibreglass boats will need to have all the water removed from them before the holes can be patched up.

Police are investigating the alleged criminal damage, which is thought to have taken place between Wednesday evening and yesterday morning.

Anyone with information should contact PC Adrian Hughes on 0845 0454545 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.