A BOAT named in memory of a schoolgirl who died tragically has been gutted in a suspected arson attack.
Kenya Monck, from Sunderland, collapsed at her family home in Hendon on the night of February 3 last year.
The 16-year-old was rushed to Sunderland Royal Hospital after suffering an asthma attack and died six days later.
Grieving father Paul, 46, named his fishing coble after his only child. But the four-metre vessel was left scorched and charred after it went up in flames on Saturday.
Seventeen firefighters were called to the riverside near Pann’s Bank, High Street East, at 9.15pm, with a water rescue team from Newcastle joining the crews from Fulwell and Farringdon stations.
Fisherman Paul has been left devastated by the damage, which he discovered when he went to the riverside at 7.30am yesterday. He believes it is the second time the boat had been targeted by yobs, and found a lighter and barbecue fuel containers with the boat after this weekend’s damage.
Paul, who said it cost £1,000 to repair the coble after the last attack, said: “It was named after Kenya because she used to love coming out on the boat with me.”
The coble’s engine was destroyed by the flames, which also damaged its deck.
An inquest into Kenya’s death heard the former Southmoor School pupil, from Coxon Street, collapsed after returning home from a party.
Coroner Derek Winter recorded her death was due to natural causes through a brain injury caused by asthma.
Her death became part of a national study by the Royal College of Physicians.
Northumbria Police say inquiries into the fire are ongoing and asked anyone with information to call 101.