Lifesaving equipment ‘vandalised’ at Carrick harbour

A life belt at the harbour. INCT 30-416-RM
A life belt at the harbour. INCT 30-416-RM

Mid and East Antrim Council has called for the local community’s support following the vandalism of lifesaving equipment at Carrickfergus seafront.

Yesterday evening, it emerged that vital life rings and other safety equipment at Carrickfergus Harbour had been vandalised, with some items even stolen.

MEA Mayor, Councillor Audrey Wales condemned the incident, which she said could easily lead to a loss of life. “Tuesday night (July 26) saw one complete life ring unit being burnt – leaving nothing but ash - while two weather-proof lids, a throwing line and two complete life rings were stolen,” Cllr Wales added.

“The dangers of tampering with lifesaving equipment are obvious and even leaving aside that the ratepayer bears the expense of replacement, this is putting lives of local marina users and also everyone on shore when anywhere near the sea at risk.

“It doesn’t bear thinking about what the consequences would be if perhaps a young child were to fall into the sea and those nearby were unable to help because the emergency rescue equipment was missing or vandalised.

“While I commend our Carrickfergus Harbour staff for their very prompt action in replacing the items within just 24 hours, everyone needs to play a role in halting these acts.

“The PSNI is already investigating this week’s incident which we at council take very seriously as well.

“But the community too has a role to play and I would urge parents to take responsibility for their children: by knowing where there are and what they are doing and for local people in general to be vigilant.

“Anyone witnessing any such vandalism should report it to the PSNI immediately, and if appropriate, to alert our own council staff.

“Working together in this way we can better assure the safety of those using our marina and promenades.”