Whoever sabotaged two lobster boats last week in Friendship apparently was motivated by something other than a territorial fishing dispute, authorities said Monday.

Investigators say they have no explanation for why one or more people tried to destroy two boats owned by a father and son from Cushing. They said the two, who fish in waters off Cushing, have used the same fishing grounds for years, and have no history of conflict with fishermen who work in neighboring territories.

“Nothing indicates it was a territorial issue,” said Marine Patrol Sgt. Rene Cloutier, who is investigating the incident along with the Knox County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Coast Guard. He said investigators have no suspects.

The boats, which were moored in Friendship’s harbor, are owned by Gary Jones, 50, and his 15-year-old son, Logan.

On the night of May 7, someone cut the boats’ mooring lines and set the boats adrift on an outgoing tide. In addition, someone cut the intake and exhaust lines so the boats would fill with water. One boat sank and the other was slightly damaged.

The 35-foot Fantaseas, owned by Gary Jones, was found on the morning of May 8 on Ram Island, outside the harbor. Only a portion of the boat’s cabin was above water. The boat was significantly damaged; it is now being repaired at a boatyard in Friendship

The 28-foot Lobstah Taxi, owned by Logan Jones, was found on Walker’s Beach in Friendship with only minimal damage.

The saboteur must have dulled the knife while cutting the intake and exhaust lines of the Fantaseas because those lines on the Lobstah Taxi were not cut deeply enough to rupture, said Tina Jones, Gary Jones’ wife.

“They tried and tried, and they just gave up,” she said.

She said her son has operated his own fishing boat since he was 10, despite having diabetes. She said the vandalism and investigation have put a lot stress on his health, and she and her husband are furious that someone would do such a thing to a boy.

“That is the kind of scum you are dealing with. You are bothering a 15-year-old,” she said.

Jones, who described herself as the family’s spokeswoman, said it’s upsetting that many people assume her husband and son provoked the attack.

“We just want people to know we are on the receiving end, and we haven’t done anything to anybody,” she said. “We are as honest as they come. My boy is extremely hard-working.”

Tina Jones said both boats are insured. She said her husband and son are known for being financially successful lobstermen.

Gary Jones has been on the receiving end of vandalism in the past. In 2009, another Cushing lobsterman was charged with cutting the lines to 22 of Jones’ lobster buoys.

According to the Bangor Daily News, Jones at the time attributed the vandalism to “jealousy.”

Staff Writer Tom Bell can be contacted at 791-6369 or at: [email protected]

Twitter: TomBellPortland