People’s lives are being put at risk by vandals who are stealing and damaging lifesaving equipment from Carrickfergus waterfront.
That’s the warning from Carrickfergus Borough Council and the PSNI after 20 incidents over the past year in which lifebuoys have been stolen, thrown into the sea or had ropes cut.
On the most recent occasion, two life rings were vandalised on the end of the Albert and Edward Pier.
Carrickfergus Harbour Master, Nigel Thompson, commented: “There is not only the financial implication of this vandalism, which is considerable, but more importantly there is the fact that it is putting people’s lives at risk.
“These life rings do save lives, as has been shown on two occasions in the past month where people got into difficulties and had to be rescued.”
The warnings come as the borough experiences an increase in members of the public using the sea and the shore for recreational activities such as fishing, boating and swimming.
Constable Shaun Fraser, Carrickfergus Neighbourhood Policing Team, added: “I cannot over emphasise the risk to life of members of the public caused by the mindless act of damaging or stealing these life rings. I would urge anyone who witnesses’ misuse of the life rings to contact the police.”
The message from council is: enjoy the summer and the seaside but do it safely.
“If you do see someone in difficulty, tell somebody, preferably a lifeguard if there is one nearby, or go to the nearest telephone, dial 999, ask for the police at inland water sites and the Coastguard at the beach.”