Lifeboat crew greeted by ‘scene of devastation’ after station break-in
The lifeboat crew at Aldeburgh were greeted by a ‘scene of devastation’ following an early morning break-in which is expected to cost thousands of pounds to repair.
The raid happened in the early hours of Wednesday, December 20, and was reported to police when the crew arrived to open up the lifeboat station, in Grag Path, that morning.
Suspects had smashed a window to gain entry before ransacking the building.
Lifeboat operations manager Charlie Walker said up to £250 they had collected for their tea and coffee kitty had been stolen but it was the damage they had caused that would be the real cost to the life-saving charity.
He said: “When we opened station we were greeted by a scene of devastation.
“Glass was everywhere over the crew room, one of the desks upstairs has been badly damaged, they had pulled open all the cupboards downstairs.
“They has smashed two glass doors, one in the workshop and one in the storage area.
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“They took the tea and coffee fund, which was around £80 in £1 coins, and various bits of other cash around the station that we had collected.
“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.”
Charlie said the RNLI do not insure its lifeboat stations as the cost would be too high for the charity.
But he added his ‘faith in humanity has been restored’ following the strength of support the crew had received from the community after news of the break-in was published.
Members of the public visited the station throughout the day, bringing coffee, tea and biscuits for the crew as well as making donations to help with the repair bill. Staff from the town’s Tesco also brought a huge hamper filled with food and drink to show their support for the lifeboat crew.
If you saw anything suspicious on the night of the break-in or have any information that could assist officers with their investigation call Suffolk police on 101 quoting reference 805334/17.