Coastguard search and rescue volunteers have shared their anger and dismay after finding that their station had been ransacked during the early hours of yesterday morning.
In a post shared on their Facebook page, Coleraine Coastguard said:
‘With great sadness, we woke this morning to find our station had been broken into and ransacked.
‘As well as the upset this had caused our volunteers, the result of this malicious act is that our team has had to declared offline until the PSNI have completed investigations and we can be 100% sure our equipment is complete and safe to use.
‘Thankfully, our flank teams provide cover so the Coastguard Rescue Service will still be able to respond within our normal response times.
‘Call 999 and ask for the Coastguard for incidents on the coast.
‘We will do our utmost to get the Coleraine team back
Not only had the station been broken into and had various items stolen, but the thieves also appear to have damaged as much property inside the coastguard station as they could.
The crew room had also been ransacked with the personnel protective equipment of the volunteers being thrown all over the floor.
Volunteer Coastguard crews volunteer to respond to coastal emergencies 24 hours a day, 365 days a week.
The specialist teams are not paid for their life-saving work, much like volunteer lifeboat crews.
It is unclear as to what was taken by the thieves during the break-in and no arrests have yet been made.
A spokesperson for the Coleraine Station later said:
‘We’re pleased to let everyone know that, following the burglary at our station last night, Coleraine Coastguard Rescue Team is back online.
‘Thanks to the team members who cleaned and tidied up and checked that our rescue gear is safe to use.
‘Also, a huge thank you to everyone for your messages of support and offers of help during the day, the team are really grateful.
‘If anyone has any information which may help, please contact the PSNI’.
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