‘Lives at risk’ warning after thefts from Weybourne fishing boats

A fisherman has hit out at thieves who have twice stolen items from boats on the north Norfolk coast, saying they are putting lives and livelihoods at risk.

David Little had to spend �8,000 replacing a Yamaha outboard motor when it was stolen from his boat, the Lady Iris, at Weybourne, overnight on January 23-24.

And thieves struck again last night, taking red diesel from fishing boats at Weybourne, and attempting unsuccessfully to remove outboards and batteries from vessels, according to a police spokesman.

Mr Little said the thieves had tried to take his replacement outboard motor last night but he had stepped up security and they had been foiled. A fishing colleague, Richard Matthews, had had diesel taken from his boat, the Natalie Gail.

'They should realise that if Richard was out at sea at 4am or 5am, thinking he had plenty of diesel, and there was a bit of a swell, he could have been in trouble.

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'What if they had taken safety equipment and we didn't realise until we were at sea and needed it? They are risking our lives, and our livelihoods,' he added.

Mr Little urged the public to be vigilant and report anything suspicious to the police.

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The police spokesman said officers from Sheringham SNT were investigating both incidents. She advised boat owners not to leave valuables on display or leave anything loose in the cockpit or on deck, not to leave keys on the boat, to lock vessels when no-one was aboard, remove outboards during winter months, use strong padlocks on entry points, property-mark items with a postcode, and keep a list of serial numbers.

Anyone with information should contact PC Ian Smith on 0845 456 4567 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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