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Poole disabled sailing charity targeted by thieves

By mbarber  |  Posted: January 07, 2013

Poole Sailability volunteer instructor Phil Berry inspects the charity's safety boat from which the engine has been stripped.

POOLE Sailability, who enable disabled people to sail, have been hit by thieves for the second time in just over a year.

On Sunday night the valuable nearly new 50HP engine from the charity's safety boat was stolen in a daring and highly organised theft from Rockley Boat Park along with six other large boat engines belonging to private owners.

Just over a year ago their safety boat was stolen from its pontoon at Rockley and found wrecked on rocks at Baiter with the engine and all the electrics cut out.

This time the theft occurred from a locked boat yard with high security. A gang of thieves, which the Poole Marine Police believe have come from outside the area and are responsible for a large number of marine engine thefts nationwide, managed to cut down a high wire fence and drive a van into the yard during the night, where seven engines were removed from their boats.

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Poole Sailability chairman Anna Moreland said: "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 engine.

"The local community stepped forward with donations to help us raise this extra money. I do not know what will happen this time.

"We can not function without a safety boat and our training season for volunteer drivers starts very soon."

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