VANDALS have caused thousands of pounds of damage to a fleet of new boats at a popular park.
Tails from four of the swan boats recently installed on Stanley Park boating lake were ripped off and dumped into the water by teenagers on Wednesday afternoon.
And park staff say they have been left devastated by the incident, and a £2,000 bill for repairs.
A Blackpool Parks Limited spokesman said: “It’s a shame when you get people who are intent on doing damage.
“It was just mindless vandalism, it ruins it for others.”
Senior staff say they will now consider running a fund-raising event to cover the cost of the damage.
And visitors are being urged to remain “vigilant” against vandals in the park.
The spokesman added: “We’ve spent a lot of money on the boats.
“We’re very lucky to have this park so we’ve got to look after what we’ve got.”
The fleet of paddle boats was introduced to the lake only a month ago, along with Union Jack decorated motor boats.
Yesterday, the damaged boats were still in use as park staff said they did not want to deprive the park’s many visitors of a sail on the lake.
The incident marred an otherwise successful family event as Barnardo’s hosted their annual Playday in the park. Coun Graham Cain, cabinet member for tourism and culture at Blackpool Council, said: “The actions of the minority shouldn’t spoil the enjoyment for everyone else.
“These boats are a fantastic new addition to the park and I applaud Blackpool Parks Ltd for continually investing in new attractions for Blackpool residents and visitors.
“They must be devastated at this act of mindless vandalism.”
Anyone with information about the attack can call Blackpool Police on 101.