RNLI lifeguard equipment stolen in overnight break-in
RNLI lifeguards in the South Hams arrived to prepare for their daily beach patrols this morning (Friday 1 June) to find the engine for their inshore rescue boat had been taken.
Lifeguards Dave Tunbridge and Alistair Williams discovered the storage unit housing the engine at Bigbury-on-Sea had been broken into overnight.
The storage unit had been locked shortly after the lifeguards finished their daily beach patrol at 6pm on Thursday 31 June.
Lifeguard Supervisor for the South Hams Rebecca Fox says: ‘We take great pride in our work and the equipment we use to keep beachgoers around the coast safe. It’s extremely disappointing that our storage unit was broken into overnight. Having viewed CCTV we think it may have happened at just before 11pm and we’d ask anyone with any information to contact Devon and Cornwall Police on 101.’
The charity’s lifeguards across the south west dealt with 7,982 incidents, assisting 10,080 people in 2017.
Rebecca added: ‘Our inshore rescue boats allow our lifeguards to respond quickly to rescue people in trouble at sea and it’s a real shame that the engine to this vital piece of kit has been taken.
‘Thankfully we’ve been able to keep our inshore rescue boat on service and our patrols have not been affected. We’d like to thank the local community for all of their support.’
The RNLI would ask anyone planning a visit to the coast to head to a lifeguarded beach where a team of lifeguards is on hand to offer safety advice to beachgoers.
To find details of your nearest lifeguarded beach visit rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beachesNotes to editors
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Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.