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Officials: Rescue boat owned by the South Country ambulance district vandalized

A South Country Ambulance District rescue boat was vandalized over the weekend resulting in thousands of dollars in damages, officials said.

District officials said officers found the damaged vessel on Sunday around 2:35 p.m. Suffolk County police were called to the scene and investigated the incident.

Officials said the vessel's command and control electronics had been smashed, radio communication gear cut and the oil line that feeds the engines had been sliced in half.

"This is deeply troubling because this lifesaving piece of equipment is now out of service to our community," South Country Capt. Neil Thomas said in a statement.

Damage to the rescue boat is estimated at $10,000, officials said. The district is using an older, less equipped boat in the interim.

The damaged boat carried specialized search and rescue equipment that helps rescuers locate persons in distress in the dark.

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