Owners of Skipton’s Pennine Cruisers believe one of their day tripper boats was deliberately sunk.

Staff at the family-owned business arrived on Tuesday to find the narrow boat, which had been moored at the Canal Basin, almost submerged.

It had been sunk by vandals, who had taken one of the business’s hosepipes and used it to flood the boat.

Zoe Clarke, daughter of owners Ian and Pamela Clarke, said: “It must have been deliberately targeted because the hosepipe was stretched to its maximum and there were four other boats closer by. It’s not very nice, and we don’t know why.”

However, by lunchtime, the boat – called Leo – had been re-floated, cleaned and was ready to take day trippers out.

“When we arrived at 7am, the hosepipe was still turned on. We started trying to get it afloat again at 9am, got all the pumps going to get the water out and three lads inside it bailing it out, everyone worked really hard,” she said.

“We knew there was nothing structurally wrong with it, so it was just a case of getting it back afloat and cleaned out.

“It’ll be a bit damp for a bit, but we got the wood burning stove alight and the engine stripped down and given new oil.”

The boat is one of two used for day trips and will shortly take Pennine Cruisers’ 25,000th customer on a trip down Springs branch of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

Police are investigating, but without CCTV and fingerprint evidence, they are relying on passers-by who might have seen something suspicious in the Canal Basin between 10pm on Monday and 4am on Tuesday.

Anyone with information should telephone Skipton Police on 0845 6060247.