Engines stolen from volunteer rescue boat

A volunteer marine search and recovery unit in Co Clare has been left high and dry after the engines of its specialist dive boat were stolen by a ruthless gang.

The Killaloe/Ballina Search and Recovery unit was established in 2001 following three local tragedies.

The unit is regularly tasked to search for missing persons on rivers and lakes while its dive team has been involved in recovering bodies following tragedies.

The 18-strong team has been left “gutted” after it turned up for training on Wednesday night to find they could not launch their boat. The 27-foot catamaran-style diving vessel was in the boat house at Killaloe marina when thieves struck in recent days.

Two 90-horsepower Honda engines, grey and silver in colour, worth €15,000 each, were stolen. Chairman and founding member Tony O’Brien believes the thieves knew what they were taking and from whom.

“The boat is well marked and clearly identifiable so whoever took these engines knew what they were taking and that they were stealing from a volunteer community group. There had to be a few people involved because these are big engines.

“As a result of this sick act, lives are being put at risk. We can be called on at anytime and we are always ready so we are gutted by this. One of our own volunteers has made his boat available to us but we need to have our own boat back in the water,” he said.

“It is also devastating for us because we now have to tell the local community who, along with our own fundraising, paid for these engines. Still though, we will bounce back from this. We have a very resilient bunch of people and a great community behind us,” Mr O’Brien said.

The local unit of the Irish Coast Guard condemned the theft and offered support to their colleagues.

Killaloe coast guard unit leader Michael Quigley said: “Taking the engines of a boat involved in such vital work as saving lives is like taking the wheels of an ambulance or fire truck.

“We had our own rescue boat stolen some years ago so we know how devastated the KBSR members must be and we have offered them any assistance we can if they need it.”

* Contact gardaí in Killaloe on 061 620540 or the Garda confidential line on 1800 666111.


Incarcerated in Auschwitz and other Nazi death camps Zuzana Ruzickova somehow survived and went on to create the complete recordings of her beloved Bach, writes James Lawless.Book review: Nazi horrors replaced by brutal Soviets for piano player

The Menu was delighted to make recent mention of a new UCC postgraduate diploma in Irish food culture and is equally pleased to announce availability of two new bursaries for same.The Menu: Food news with Joe McNamee

George Orwell’s classic novel foretold a lot, but the manner in which we’ve handed over our personal data to faceless corporatocracies is doubleplus-ungood, says Suzanne Harrington.How we sleepwalked into George Orwell’s nightmarish vision

Esther N McCarthy has her eye (and ear) on party speakers for your BBQ, spots a rug that’s out of this world, and revels in all that’s on offer for Heritage Week and Cork Craft Month.Your interiors wish list: Party speakers, Heritage Week and Cork Craft Month

More From The Irish Examiner