The search is on for a man who used a large knife to slash the Dover Sea Sports' safety boat. He was captured on CCTV.

The Port of Dover Police in Kent are hunting a man who used a large knife to slash the safety boat belonging to the Dover Sea Sports Centre.

This act of vandalism now means that many children will be unable to continue their sailing lessons. The safety boat was used by school groups and the charity, the Cinque Ports Pirates Sailing Club.

See the CCTV footage below

The Dover Sea Sports Centre is part of Dover Marine Services, a not for profit organisation. Its general manager, Danie Juden says a lot of children will now be disappointed, as the safety boat will take a while to be repaired.

“It will cost a lot to be repaired and we can’t repair it ourselves because it (the damage) is in an awkward place. As there is no safety boat it means the children will not be able to go out sailing,” explained Juden.

The safety boat was chained up outside of the centre at the time of the incident, which took place on 2 May at 10pm. Other sailing dinghies are also stored there.

The area is covered by CCTV, which captured what the sports centre has branded “deliberate vandalism”.

Juden said earlier in the evening, a school group had been using the centre for a lesson. It was shut at the time of the incident, but the restaurant upstairs still had customers.

Juden is surprised by the weapon used.

“The size of the knife used is most shocking. It’s not like this happened late at night. And there were still people up at the restaurant,” she added.

Following the incident, the Dover Sea Sports Centre posted a statement on its Facebook page, along with photos and CCTV footage.

“So we spend the day promoting sea sport activities for the Dover community and then WHACK! Locking up we find that our safety/rescue inflatable boat has been slashed in the worst possible places,” said the statement.

It continued: “Deliberate vandalism that has now wrecked a boat used for looking after everyone who use the water. CCTV will be checked in the morning, so hopefully the culprits will be seen but this now means we’re a safety boat down. Gutting”

Anyone who witnessed the incident or who recognises the man in the CCTV footage is asked to contact Port of Dover Police on 01304 216084.