The Hamptons Police Department Submarine Unit (HPDSU) has generously offered to light their surplus Virginia-Class submarine, Jaws VIII, in November as a way to celebrate the start of the 2016 holiday season. According to HPDSU Captain Finn Zorn, his team hatched the idea after learning that the Montauk Lighthouse has cancelled its annual lighting ceremony due to a lack of funds.
Some locals have argued the move is a blatant attempt for good press following a recent scandal where Zorn and the HPDSU torpedoed and scuttled a Montauk party boat, which they mistakenly believed had weapons on board, but Zorn insists PR has nothing to do with it. Zorn and the HPDSU were acquitted of all wrongdoing in September, but many have criticized the ruling.
“It’s an unfortunate situation that the Montauk Point Lighthouse Committee has had to allocate their money for restoration and repairs this year, so the holiday lights aren’t happening,” Zorn said. “We’re just trying to give the community some semblance of normalcy by offering an alternative lighting.”
The HPDSU says the lighting will occur just off Montauk Point, so holiday revelers will be able to watch the lighting from the Montauk Lighthouse grounds on Saturday, November 26—the very same day the canceled lighting was planned. Following the lighting, the submarine will remain surfaced in that spot throughout the month of December and on New Year’s Day. On January 2, 2017, the sub will leave and return to the dry dock where it is now stored each winter.
The Montauk Point Lighthouse Committee has said they could still go forward with their annual holiday lighting if enough donations come in by November 1. To help make that happen, you can donate by hitting the “Support” tab at montauklighthouse.com.