Watch out, boaters, North Fork cops have stepped up their game.
Not to be outdone by the Hamptons Police Department, which recently acquired a military surplus Virginia-class submarine, the North Fork Constabulary this week unveiled its own submersible vehicle to keep East End waters safe: a working recreation of David Bushnell’s Revolutionary War era Turtle submarine.
The policing agency to the north of the Hamptons patrolled Long Island Sound undetected for four days prior to officially unveiling the one-man, underwater vessel, NoFo Constabulary spokesman Lt. Budd Youngs said at a press conference on the Sound Monday.
In deference to the craft’s historic roots, the Constabulary has dubbed it Turtle Time, “like a turtle from back in time,” Youngs said as several constables chirped “gonna go back in time” behind him.
The initial deployment was kept under wraps until the new NoFo Constabulary Submariner Division (NoFoConSD) could be trained on safe piloting of the submersible craft, Youngs explained, adding, “Our new submariners will be masters of clandestine policing, whether they observe and report or take down the bad guys on their own.”
NoFoConSD Skipper Whitey Mack successfully demonstrated diving and surfacing in Turtle Time during the press conference before taking questions.
“It’s certainly tight in there,” Mack, who stands at 6-foot-3, offered, noting that his more diminutive, 5-foot-6 partner Ken Namoru is quite comfortable inside the historic sub. “It’s like Namoru was born to be a submariner,” Mack said.
“The North Fork Constabulary is as strong and relevant as ever,” Lt. Youngs said. “The safety of our citizens in paramount, and we’ll do anything in our power to enforce good boating and fishing practices in these waters,” he continued.
“We don’t know how the Hamptons PD jumped to the front of the line for a decommissioned U.S. Navy submarine while other agencies have been waitlisted for years, but is it really a surprise?” Youngs said, wrapping things up. “We North Forkers learned long ago how to get by on wits and gumption—the Hamptons can keep their Hollywood and hedge funds.”
Powered by pedals and hand cranks, Turtle Time can remain completely submerged for about 30 minutes at a time, and will generally patrol with its cap just above the surface, appearing like a buoy or floating debris from even a short distance. NoFo Constabulary added a modern blue police light and siren to be more conspicuous when the time comes to make an arrest.
The submersible is currently assigned to the Constabulary’s Long Island Sound sector. Assuming its first season is successful, the NoFo Constabulary plans to expand the fleet and add patrols to the Peconic River—including adjoining Greenport Harbor, Orient Harbor and Long Beach Bay—Little Peconic Bay and the Great Peconic Bay in 2016.