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Aldeburgh RNLI thanks community after ‘overwhelming’ response to break-in

PUBLISHED: 18:37 05 January 2018 | UPDATED: 18:46 05 January 2018

The Team at Aldeburgh RNLI are thanking the community for all their support.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The Team at Aldeburgh RNLI are thanking the community for all their support. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Volunteer lifesavers on the Suffolk coast have been “astonished” by the outpouring of support received after a break-in before Christmas caused thousands of pounds of damage.

The RNLI's Charlie Walker and Karl Barber pictured after the break-in. Picture: GREGG BROWNThe RNLI's Charlie Walker and Karl Barber pictured after the break-in. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The Aldeburgh RNLI crew said the response to the break-in at the lifeboat station had been “incredible” – with donations of money, food and offers of help coming from as far and wide as Hertfordshire.

Coxswain Steve Saint said: “We are overwhelmed by the response, which shows true community spirit.

“From all of the crew at the lifeboat station, a huge heartfelt thanks.”

The lifeboat crew had been greeted by a “scene of devastation following a break-in in the early hours of Wednesday, December 20.

Thousands of pounds worth of damage was caused to the lifeboat station. Picture: GREGG BROWNThousands of pounds worth of damage was caused to the lifeboat station. Picture: GREGG BROWN

MORE: Lifeboat crew greeted by ‘scene of devastation’ after station break-in

Suspects had smashed a window of the lifeboat station in Crag Path, before ransacking the building.

Lifeboat operations manager Charlie Walker said up to £250 had been stolen from the crew’s tea and coffee kitty – but the damage caused would cost far more to repair.

Speaking after the break-in, he said: “When we opened station we were greeted by a scene of devastation.

“The real cost is the repairs though which will be more than 10 times the amount they took.

“The merciful thing is they didn’t damage the lifeboat or the equipment.

“It was heart-breaking to discover that our lifeboat station had been broken into and I can’t possibly comprehend why anyone would want to target our lifesaving service.”

After announcing the break-in on Facebook, many of the crew’s followers spoke of their shock and anger at the break-in.

Julia Conquest wrote: “How disgusting can people get – this is awful.”

Huw Owen added it was “idiotic behaviour against people who save so many lives – and for no pay.”

He called for the perpetrators to “hang your heads in shame”.

The break-in received widespread coverage prompting a major response from the RNLI’s supporters, including money, tea, coffee, biscuits, offers to help with repairs and a hamper to the crew from a local shop.

Posting on Facebook, the crew said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the overwhelming response following on from our break in at the Lifeboat Station – true community spirit!

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