Theft at Opotiki risks patrol season

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Around $50,000 worth of equipment has been stolen from the Opotiki Surf Life Saving Club including an Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB), quad bike and two engines.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand Club Development Officer Scott Bicknell says the club held a meeting at the club house last night and when they arrived, they discovered all their equipment was gone.

"Being such a small club, this is pretty much all the gear they have. It's devastating," he says.

Opotiki Surf Life Saving Club chairperson Debbie Hocart says the IRB was inflated and on a trailer.

The club is due to begin its patrol season on December 2 but they will be unable to conduct their patrols until this equipment is returned or replaced.

At a replacement cost of around $50,000 it is a huge amount of money for a voluntary organisation.  

Mr Bicknell says one of the neighbouring clubs has offered to loan Opotiki one of their IRBs until a new boat can be arranged.

The club has also been contacted by Bay Trust who has expressed interest in funding a new security system, including cameras, he says.

The police have been contacted and anyone who has information about the theft is urged to contact police immediately.

For more information, please contact:

Lisa Honeybone, Media & Communications Specialist, SLSNZ
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823