On Thursday night last, one of the River Rescue’s boats, along with three outboard motors, were stolen from the Marina.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time this fantastic group of volunteers have had equipment stolen from the riverside, and the level of public anger expressed in recent days again reflects the esteem in which all local River Rescue groups are held.
“I got a call at 8 o’clock on Friday morning from one of our volunteers that one of our boats and three outboard motors were missing,” Michael told Billy McCarthy on WLRfm’s ‘Deise AM’.
“So I am assuming at the moment that they took off the two outboard motors off two of our boats and put them into the bigger boat and took the whole lot; I’d say they used the boat to take away the other engines.”
He added: “This was thievery, I reckon. It wasn’t an easy job to take these outboard motors off boats actually in the water. They’re heavy and awkward enough to take off when the boats or on land or when we put them on before we go out on a search. It wasn’t an easy job to take them off the boats and manhandle them.”
The stolen boat has clear marking on the side of the boat which identify it as the property of Carrick-on-Suir River Rescue, complete with a blue and gold cheque pattern.
The engines stolen were of the two-stroke variety, which are lighter and used in the event of their needing to be carried across fields during certain operations, according to Michael.
“They’re short shaft engines, which are mostly used on lakes but they can be used by small boats on rivers as well,” he added.
And it’s not the first time that the River Rescue has been targeted, as locals will be all too familiar with.
Michael added: “No, unfortunately. These mindless gurriers…I just don’t know what way people like this think. What if there was someone in their family who needed our help quickly?”
As of Friday morning, in the wake of the robbery, Carrick River Rescue’s small boats have been “grounded”.
Having assisted in the extensive search for a missing man in the River Suir near the Thomas Francis Meagher Bridge, and had been providing on-river assistance to those overseeing the development of the Carrick to Clonmel cycleway, their absence shall be immediately felt.
“If we got a call to go upriver, which these boats specifically cater for both here and towards Waterford, we’d have only one boat which can respond right now. We have seven boats all together: three RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats) and four aluminium (boats) which are used for inshore (rescue operations) and we can use them as far up as Golden…
“Just to put this in perspective. If you think about the lads that work with me, they give up their time, they’ve never had a penny out of any of this, never asked for a penny and wouldn’t want it, and then you have mindless gurriers to come along like this and take something that we cannot do without….
“People like this have no regard for the people that have put so much time into raising the funds and the people that give up their pennies to pay for services like this. They just come along and take it like that – they’re just stupid idiots. Gurriers. And if they have any problem with me saying that, they can come and have a word with me anytime…and I just hope the Guards find them before anyone else does.”
Hopefully, by the time you’re reading this report, some good news will have broken in relation to this theft.
Should that not prove the case, anyone with information is urged to contact Carrick-on-Suir Garda Station on 051-640024 or Michael Hickey on 086-8179531.