Taxpayers lost a $500,000 Port Authority Patrol boat this month when a veteran police sergeant took the advice of a civilian safety instructor and opened the hatch while it was beneath the water.

The screw up happened off Breezy Point, Queens. The rush of water was like "opening a window during a carwash," one Port Authority insider said. Eleven people were on board and began abandoning the sinking ship. No one was seriously injured.

The boat sank about 300 yards offshore.

The New York Post reports,

PA sources said the sergeant who ordered the hatch open is expected to face disciplinary action. They refused to identify him. He will likely lose vacation days for failing to maintain supervisory control and basically abdicating his command to a civilian during the Sept. 9 debacle, they said.

The aluminum-hull catamaran was being used for rescue exercises mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration for airport first responders, a source said.

The boat, PAPD No. 7211, was among those on hand to respond to potential terror maritime assaults on JFK Airport and possible airline crashes in Jamaica Bay.

It is equipped with $500,000 in firefighting pumps, hoses, nozzles, marine radios, radar, GPS gear, depth sounders, pursuit lights, sirens, scuba gear and dozens of inflatable rafts designed to carry up to 600 people.

The Port Authority is already dealing with a security breach of their $100 million airport security system. Now, they are looking at replacing thousands of dollars of equipment on a boat, all thanks to a guy not being smart enough to know that he wasn't supposed to open a hatch when it is under water. I'm wondering how the people of New York feel about their tax money literally being sunk like this.

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