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22 July 2014, 09:29
Two Isle of Wight lifeboats are out of action after being damaged by vandals.
Both of the Ryde Inshore Rescue crew's rigid-inflatable boat (RIB) vessels were stabbed several times, sometime between Sunday and Monday evening.
One has been repaired but still needs testing before it can be put back into operation.
Crews are warning people to be extra careful on the coast and at the beach, as they can't currently help anyone - at their busiest time of year.
In a post on their Facebook page, Ryde Inshore Rescue said:
"Ryde Inshore Rescue lifeboats have been vandalized. RR1 has been stabbed approx 14 times and RR2 stabbed approx 8 times. The incident occurred during the hours of 5pm last night Sunday 20th July 2014 to 6pm Monday 21st July 2014. Sadly, this means that both boats are rendered unusable and Ryde Inshore Rescue will be unable to attend any emergency call outs until further notice. If anyone has any information please ring 01983 564564, leave a message on our facebook page Ryde Inshore Rescue or telephone the police.
"Last year we saved 97 people and July & August are our busiest times of year. All crew and members are volunteers, on call 365 days of the year. PLEASE PLEASE if you are down the beach with your children, be watchful as we are not able to assist."
In a later message last night, the organisation said:
"Ryde Inshore Rescue would like to express their thanks and gratitude for the kind words given by so many people and sharing of the post.
"We sincerely hope that someone will be able to come forward with some information. Furthermore, thank you to Bembridge Outboards for coming out to assist us with repairs to RR1 tonight, fingers crossed that she stays up overnight."