Southport Offshore Rescue Trust have condemned the actions of a ‘mindless vandal’ after an inflatable lifeboat was destroyed by knife slashes.
The inflatable D-class lifeboat had been in service for 30 years. The boat had been retired from full service but was regularly used by crews as a training boat.
But the group assured the public that their essential front line operations will be unaffected.
Southport Offshore Rescue Trust said: “Last night at weekly training we were saddened to find that Southport Lifeboat’s ILB training boat had been slashed in several places with a knife.
“Our old inflatable D-Class lifeboat, which was replaced in 2016 by the new ILB “Christopher Taylor”, had been stored on a trailer at West Lancashire Sailing Club’s dinghy park at the Marine lake.
“She had helped save lives for almost 30 years in her time with the RNLI and Southport Independent Lifeboat. After her retirement from service she was an essential piece of training equipment used for capsize training; which is a fundamental and potentially live-saving part of boat crew knowledge. Sadly, this piece of equipment will now have to be disposed of and this will be solely down to the selfish actions of a mindless vandal.
“We please urge anyone with any information about this crime to report it to Merseyside Police.
“We would like to assure members of the public that our front-line equipment is fully functional and that this thoughtless act will not interfere with our ability to provide a first class rescue service along our coastline.”