Historic sailing yacht at Southwold hit by theft

A CHARITY restoring a historic boat has suffered a blow after eight deadlocks were stolen from the vessel while she was stored at Southwold harbour.

The Leila Sailing Trust says it faces a bill off up to �1,000 after the wooden deadlocks were taken from the steel mast rigging of the Leila, a 119-year-old Victorian gaff cutter.

Suffolk police say the theft happened between Saturday, December 17 and 4pm last Friday, December 23, as the Leila was on the harbour side at Blackshore. She is currently being restored at Harbour Marine and it is hoped that she will be ready to sail to London for the Olympic Games.

The Leila Sailing Trust needs to spend �6,000 on getting the vessel seaworthy and another �20,000 is need to fully refit Leila – the country's fifth oldest sailing yacht – to allow her to take youngsters from Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth out to sea to help build their confidence and skills.

Rod Bull, secretary of the trust, said new deadlocks would now have be made to order and there would be extra costs involved in re-jigging the mast rigging to connect them.

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He said it was 'very sad' that someone would steal from a charity.

Anyone with information on the theft should call Southwold police on 101.

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To support the Leila Sailing Trust visit www.leila2c.org

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