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Charity workers reeling after being targeted by thieves
CHARITY workers at Poole Sailability are reeling after being targeted by heartless thieves for the second time in just over a year.
On Sunday night the £8,000 engine from the charity’s safety boat was stolen from Rockley Boat Park, Hamworthy, Poole.
Six other large boat engines were also swiped from the yard in what appears to have been a coordinated raid.
Poole Sailability is linked to the Royal Yachting Association’s Sailability, which works to ensure disabled people enjoy the chance to sail.
In September 2011 the charity’s £20,000 safety boat was stolen from its pontoon and later discovered wrecked at Baiter with its engine and electronics cut out.
The Daily Echo’s parent company, Gannett, purchased that boat, which had to be pulled off the rocks by the county’s marine police.
On Sunday thieves swiped an almost brand new 50HP engine from the organisation’s replacement safety boat, which was only purchased last January.
Poole Sailability chairman Anna Moreland said: “It was a huge shock because we feel we’ve been personally targeted. We are devastated by this latest theft and are working with police and our insurers.
“Last time this happened there was a huge shortfall in the insurance payment to replace the boat and the engine.
“The local community stepped forward with donations to help us raise this extra money. I do not know what will happen this time.”
Volunteer instructor Phil Berry said: “We cannot function without a safety boat and our training session for volunteer drivers starts very soon.”
It is believed the gang cut down a high wire fence and drove a van into the yard during the night.