The harbour master said he was ‘gravely concerned’ by a boat that was set alight in Littlehampton Harbour.
West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service were called to the harbour at 4.30am on Saturday, following reports of a small fire in the stern of La Libertad, a 62ft motor cruiser moored nearby.
Two pumps were sent from Arundel and Littlehampton fire stations to put out the fire. The fire service left the scene at 5.30am.
The harbour master, coastguard and police were also in attendance. They are treating the fire as deliberate.
This incident is the latest in a string of vandalism-related incidents at the harbour. Martin Davey’s boat had its windows smashed by youths throwing rocks and glasses on February 1.
He knew the owner of the burnt boat. He said: “If the fibreglass boat had caught fire then it would’ve taken about two days to be put out and most of Littlehampton would have toxic fumes and people would have got ill.”
He claimed several boat owners were considering leaving the harbour due to the continued vandalism,
Harbour master Billy Johnson said the harbour board was ‘gravely concerned by this incident’ and was working with the owner to facilitate repairs.
The vessel has been temporarily moved to the Pier Road moorings until a repair package can be arranged by the owner.
Mr Johnson said: “The harbour master and owner of the vessel have expressed sincere thanks to eagle-eyed resident who called the emergency services and whose actions and undoubtedly avoided further damage and pollution.”