Fire service boat parts stolen from Riverside Park in Sunderland
Police are investigating the theft of two boat cradles belonging to Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.
At around 5pm on Wednesday, August 7, police received a report that two boat cradles had been stolen from the area of Riverside Park in Sunderland.
Firefighters were busy training on the River Wear at the time. Crews used the specialist cradles to transport the engines for their inflatable rescue boat from the fire engine to the water’s edge at Claxheugh Rocks located by Sunderland Rowing Club.
John Pratt, Area Manager for Service Delivery at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue said: “Our inflatable rescue boat is often called out to incidents on the River Wear, so it’s particularly disappointing that this happened there.
“Replacing this equipment will take time and incur significant costs, so we’re urging anyone with any information to come forward. It’s possible that whoever took the cradles did not realise how important they are to our work, but until they are returned or replaced our response to water-based incidents could be delayed.”
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue posted about the thefts on its social media and said the boats were being used for training when the thieves struck.
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The post said: “They attached the engines to the boat and began their training. When they returned, both cradles were gone. Without them, we are unable to safely transport or store the engines.
“This could seriously affect our ability to carry out water rescues and support at water-based incidents.”
The fire service urges anyone who may have been involved in the incident or anyone who knows who currently has the cradles to return them to any Tyne and Wear fire station.
A spokesperson for the fire service said: “The important thing is that we get this lifesaving equipment back as soon as possible, to minimise the risk to public safety.”
Police inquiries are ongoing into the incident to find the location of the cradles which are also being referred to as trolleys.
A spokesperson for Northumbria Police said: “Anyone with information about the location of the trolleys is encouraged to contact police on 101 quoting log 755 07/08/19.”