Charity box contents stolen outside Donaghadee RNLI Lifeboat Station
The contents of a charity box which has been on display in front of Donaghadee RNLI's lifeboat station for many years have been stolen.
The discovery was made by the station's full time mechanic on his way into work Friday morning (7 August).
The ornate lifeboat shaped donations box has been on display on the shore front in Donaghadee for well over 10 years and this is the first time there has been money stolen. During the summer months it can gather up quite a substantial sum.
Speaking on behalf of the station, Donaghadee RNLI Chairman Alan Couser commented: ‘Everyone at the station, crew, fundraisers and the operations team alike, are all incredibly disappointed and genuinely shocked that this has happened. After so many years of being on display, the thought that some elements of society have reached the point of stealing from a charity that has men and women voluntarily going to sea to save lives is dreadful.
'On the flip side, the generosity of donations being made via our social media page has been phenomenal. We have had support from many local businesses both financially and offering practical help so that this doesn’t happen again. This is a truer reflection of the local and wider community we live in, we are extremely grateful to every single person that has donated and very touched by the support shown.’
Brian McLawrence, Donaghadee RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said ‘If anyone has any information or noticed anything untoward along the shore front in Donaghadee in the early hours of Friday, 7 August, we would encourage you to contact Newtownards Police Station where the incident has been logged.
'The majority of fundraising activities have been suspended due to Covid-19 which makes this incident even more disappointing. Donaghadee RNLI has been very busy so we would have been expecting quite a large sum from this box as it is a popular stop for people to pop some money into while going for a walk up the harbour. Hopefully we are able to apprehend the culprits and prevent another potential theft from someone else.’
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.