Vandals destroy lifesaving boat on River Lune

The damaged boat on the River Lune
The damaged boat on the River Lune

A lifeboat crew member has slammed “bored” vandals who destroyed a boat used to save lives of staff working on the Heysham to M6 link road.

Vandals ripped apart a National Marine boat which cost around £60,000. The boat is used to help staff covering the bridge work at Halton on the River Lune.

Police who were called to the riverside at around 7.35am on Monday May 9 believe vandals broke into the boat between 6pm on Saturday May 7 and 7am on Monday May 9.

Chris Thompson, a voluntary crew member for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), works on the boat and discovered the damage just before his rounds on Monday morning.

He said: “I got here around 7am, the lifering and jackets were in the water and I thought something is not right.

“We take some of our equipment off the boat, like flares, MCA coding which has all the information about the boat inside, but everything else we leave on, nobody has ever bothered with it before.

“I think it is pure vandalism. The boat is here to save lives, what they have done is stupid.”

Vandals smashed all the equipment on the boat, contaminated the fuel, ripped apart survival jackets and rummaged through first aid kits.

The boat’s two engines were destroyed with one engine costing in the region of £15,000.

Chris said: “They tore jackets open and just flung them into the river. The boat was basically smashed to bits.

“I just think it is bored kids. It was a sunny day and they thought let’s go and mess around, probably pretending to drive the boat and realised they couldn’t work it.”

Although the boat was out of action on Monday the team now has a smaller boat in place. Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101.