South Broads lifeboat station at Oulton Broad hit by burglars

Burglars have been condemned by a lifesaving charity after the South Broads lifeboat station at Oulton Broad, near Lowestoft was targeted.

The burglars broke into the RNLI site at Caldecott Road and stole one of the station's ten horsepower Mariner outboard motors, which is used on their smaller XP class lifeboat and is the station's spare outboard motor.

Police say the burglary happened between 10.45am on Saturday and 4.30pm on Tuesday when offenders broke into the boathouse, causing damage that needed to be repaired at a cost to the RNLI.

Helmsman Mark Prim: 'It's a very sad state of affairs when someone feels the need to steal from a lifesaving charity,

'Obviously this theft now means that the RNLI will need to replace the engine, but has also had to repair the damage left behind to the building, wasting vital charitable donations, which would otherwise be used for saving lives.'

A spokesman for the South Broads Lifeboat added: 'We are the only lifeboat station in the UK to use that type of engine, and they(the burglars) left the boathouse in a bit of a mess after breaking in - but I guess we are very lucky that they didn't touch the 4x4 vehicle or the lifeboat itself.'

The South Broads lifeboat station covers approximately 100 square miles of inland waterways using two small inflatable rescue vessels and a four-wheel drive vehicle to provide an 24 hour a day seven day a week call out service.

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The station operates two Inshore Lifeboats - D-714 'Jean Ryall' Broads ILB1, which was placed on station in April 2010, and XP-42 Broads ILB2 which has been at the station since 2005.

• Police are asking anyone with information to call Lowestoft police station on 101.

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