TWO Isle of Wight lifeboats have been vandalised, putting them out of action.
Ryde Inshore Rescue said its two RIBS had been stabbed, one around 14 times and the other around eight times, between 5pm on Sunday and 6pm yesterday (Monday).
A post on the Appley-based organisation's official Facebook
page said: "Sadly, this means that both boats are rendered unusable and Ryde Inshore Rescue will be unable to attend any emergency call outs until further notice."
It urged anyone who had information to contact them on (01983) 564564, via Facebook or call the police.
It added: "Last year we saved 97 people and July and August are our busiest times of year. All crew and members are volunteers, on call 365 days of the year. Please, please if you are down the beach with your children, be watchful as we are not able to assist."
Ryde Inshore Rescue is an independent organisation and not funded by the RNLI.
Anyone who wishes to donate to Ryde Inshore Rescue can support crew member Bradley Francis's effort to abseil down the Spinnaker Tower. For more information, click here
Isle of Wight police have appealed for information about the incident.
In a statement issued this afternoon (Tuesday), they said the incident happened between 3.30pm on Sunday and 7.30pm yesterday (Monday).
PC Sam Burrows said: "We’d like to speak to anyone who may have information in relation to upwards of £10,000 worth of damage to boats belonging to Ryde Inshore Rescue.
"This thoughtless act means that Ryde Inshore Rescue is unable to launch craft at present. Any response times to incidents will be at least doubled and will put a strain on rescue services both on the Island and the mainland."
Anyone with any information can contact PC Burrows at Ryde by calling 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, where information can be left anonymously.