Warilla-Barrack Point lifesavers were robbed of vital communication and rescue-related equipment during a weekend break-in, with the club president slamming those responsible for only thinking of themselves.
Six hand-held radios, a base radio, a motor off an inflatable rescue boat (IRB) and a pair of binoculars were taken from the Warilla-Barrack Point Surf Life Saving Club’s headquarters between 6pm on Friday and 5.30am on Saturday.
The break-in was discovered on Saturday morning.
“One of our boat crews went down to do some early-morning training and found the door was already open,” club president Alan Beveridge said.
“They then realised we had a break-in so they rang the police.”
The theft left the club without radio communications until it could borrow two radios from the nearby Shellharbour surf club.
Mr Beveridge said the stolen radios were valued about $1000 each and a replacement IRB motor would cost $500.
The radios were locked in a cabinet, which was forced open, and the motor was sitting on the back of the IRB ready for operations, he said.
“At the end of the day, we’ve lost $12,000 worth of assets to the surf club, which are all publicly-funded and donations-funded,” he said.
“We’ve already ordered some more radios … but it’s a very strong inconvenience.”
The keys to the club’s all-terrain vehicle (ATV) were also taken, meaning a locksmith had to be called in.
That process, and the forensic analysis of the crime scene, delayed the start of Saturday’s patrol from 9.30am until about 12.30pm.
“We're there to help the bathing public, we’re there to help prevent loss of life. People who do that [steal equipment] only think of themselves,” he said.
Police are investigating.