Scum -they're out there:
Irish Times Friday last
THE THEFT of boat engines from a volunteer search-and-rescue unit on the Shannon in Co Clare has been deplored.
The Killaloe/Ballina search-and-recovery (KBSR) unit was established in 2001 following three local tragedies. The team is regularly called on to search for missing persons. Its dive team has been involved in recovering bodies.
The 18-strong team was shocked after it turned up for training on Wednesday night to find it could not launch the boat.
The 27ft catamaran-style vessel was in the unit’s boathouse at Killaloe marina when the thieves struck in recent days.
The two 90-horsepower engines, which are grey and silver in colour, are worth €15,000 each, and unit chairman and founding member Tony O’Brien believes the thieves knew what they were taking and from whom.
“The boat is well marked and clearly identifiable, so whoever took these engines knew what they were taking and that they were stealing from a volunteer community group. There had to be a few people involved because these are big engines,” Mr O’Brien said.
“As a result of this sick act, lives are being put at risk. We can be called on at any time, and we are always ready, so we are gutted by this. One of our own volunteers has made his boat available to us but we need to have our own boat back in the water.”
The local unit of the Irish Coast Guard has condemned the theft.
Killaloe Coast Guard unit leader Michael Quigley said: “Taking the engines of a boat involved in such vital work as saving lives is like taking the wheels of an ambulance or fire truck. We had our own rescue boat stolen some years ago so we know how devastated the KBSR members must be, and we have already offered them any assistance we can if they need it”
Garda* at Killaloe have carried out a technical examination of the scene. Killaloe Garda station can be contacted on 061 620540, while anyone with information can also call the Garda confidential line on 1800 666 111.