The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) in Strandfontein, Cape Town, was left in shock after thieves broke into their base and stole a JetRIB rescue craft before setting it on fire. The incident occurred during the early morning hours on Sunday, May 28. The the wreckage of the boat was discovered later that day.
“On Sunday morning, NSRI crew arriving at NSRI Strandfontein rescue station for routine training discovered that the rescue station had been broken into during the early morning hours and an NSRI JetRIB rescue craft was missing. The four padlocks to the slipway boat gate were found open and damaged.”
The stolen JetRIB rescue craft was fully equipped for rescue operations with a cost of R650,000, according to Lambinon. The NSRI immediately reported the theft to the local police and launched its own search operation. After searching for hours, the rescue team discovered what appeared to be the burnt wreckage of the stolen boat in an open field in Blikkiesdorp, Delft.
“The craft has been destroyed by fire. It is suspected that parts of the craft may have been stripped before being set alight,” Lambinon said.
Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Pojie, a police spokesman, confirmed the burglary, saying the perpetrators broke the lock of the garage at the station to steal the JetRIB rescue craft and trailer. “It’s quite disheartening that a stolen boat, which was vital in rescue situations, was set alight,” Pojie said.
The incident has sparked an outrage from the local community, with many residents expressing their outrage on social media platforms and calling for the police to bring the perpetrators to justice.