Vandals untie holiday cruisers

VANDALS who untied several holiday cruisers at Great Yarmouth Yacht Station, allowing one to drift hundreds of yards down river to crash into Haven Bridge have been condemned as “highly irre-sponsible.

VANDALS who untied several holiday cruisers at Great Yarmouth Yacht Station, allowing one to drift hundreds of yards down river to crash into Haven Bridge have been condemned as “highly irre-sponsible.”

The five holidaymakers on board, thought to be middle-aged, had been asleep and awoke startled after the crash shortly after 12.30am on Monday. Two men in their 20s were later reported as running away from the station in Tar Works Road following the incident.

The cruiser San Valentino, hired from Richardson's of Stalham, suffered only minor damage to its roof and side and was safely towed back to its mooring by Gorleston inshore lifeboat. The party, believed to be from Cambridgeshire, were able to continue their holiday after their boat was inspected by engineers.

Several other boats had some of their mooring ropes untied and painter and decorator Sean Rhodes, 44, on holiday with his wife and daughter from Hartlepool, said they had probably only been saved by Gadget, their Staffordshire-retriever cross, barking.


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He said: “As I saw the other boat being towed back I was shocked to discover that one of our three ropes had been untied. It makes me think they should increase security here.”

Broads Authority navigation quay ranger Nathan Betts said: “It happened just after high water and the water was just beginning to flow out. If it had happened three or four hours later the water would have been flowing a lot faster and the conse-quences could have been worse.

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“This is the most dangerous part of the Broads. If they had not struck the bridge they could have ended up out at sea. And if they had tried to push themselves off the bridge they could have ended up injured.”

Mr Betts described such incidents at the station on the River Bure as “fortunately very rare”.

Broads Authority waterways strate-gy officer Angie Leeper said security lighting had been added to Yarmouth yacht station in recent years. The installation of CCTV cameras, which they had at Norwich Yacht Station, would be an issue for the site owners, Yarmouth Borough Council.

“We carry out an annual risk assessment and it is something we might consider raising,” she said.

A coastguard spokesman said: “This was highly irresponsible behaviour. The culprits could have put them-selves at risk as well as the people on the boats and it needlessly occupies rescue services. The Gorleston coastguard team were called out as well as the inshore lifeboat.”

Police are keen to speak to members of the public who may have witnessed the incident or who have information about the offenders. Contact PC Stephen Hughes at Yarmouth Police on 0845 4564567 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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