NSRI rescue craft stolen, found gutted 20km away
Police are investigating the theft of a rescue craft found gutted by fire about 20km from the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) base from which it was stolen during a burglary in the Western Cape.
The JetRIB rescue craft, a jet ski with an added hull and Hypalon pontoon specifically designed for surf rescue operations, was stolen on Sunday from the NSRI station at Strandfontein on False Bay. Crew discovered the break-in when they arrived for training on Sunday. Padlocks to the slipway boat gate were found open and damaged.
“During Sunday afternoon what appeared to be a boat recently destroyed by a fire was located in an open field in Blikkiesdorp, Delft,” said NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon.
“Police and law enforcement investigated and it is confirmed the destroyed boat is the JetRIB rescue craft. It has been completely destroyed by fire.
“It is suspected parts of the craft may have been stripped before being set alight.”
An NSRI JetRIB rescue craft fully kitted for rescue operations costs R650,000.
“It is suspected the Yamaha VX 1050 motor may have been stripped from the craft before it was set alight,” said Lambinon.
“While NSRI has suffered theft of rescue assets and break-ins at rescue stations in the past, we have never experienced a case where a rescue craft was stolen and gutted by fire.”
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