independent

Thursday 2 October 2014

Sea tours firm face choppy waters as boat is vandalised

Published 04/09/2012 | 18:16

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SKERRIES SEA Tours is bidding to be back on the water again this week after being targeted by a vandal who caused thousands of euros worth of damage to the company's only boat.

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Eoin Grimes runs the sea tours out of Skerries harbour and was shocked on Wednesday afternoon to find his €50,000 boat had been attacked by a vandal. Two inflated ribs either side of the boat had been slashed with a knife, putting the boat out of commission and forcing the seasonal business to cancel bookings.

Asked if he believed the business had been specifically targeted by the vandal, Eoin said: 'I'm not too sure but you had to go out of your way to do it. It was done in the middle of the night and at low tide.' Even at low tide, Eoin believes the vandal would have had to get wet up to his knees to carry out the attack on the boat which was moored in the harbour when the incident took place sometime last Tuesday night.

The boat will cost about €2,000 to repair, according to Eoin who was devastated to have the close the business down for a week with only a month left to run in what has been a busy season for the fledgling business. It's just the second season the sea tours have operated and it had been going well for this unique Skerries business. Eoin said: 'It has been a good season. We are going well and getting busier. Like any new business it is steadily building up and we are getting our name out there.'

But this deliberate act of vandalism has been a set back and Eoin was forced to cancel bookings last week including a group of tourists from Switzerland who had booked a tour out to Lambay Island on the seven passenger boat. Eoin estimates he has lost at least €1,000 worth of business because of the attack. Eoin said he had been 'very annoyed' by the attack and when the boat is repaired by a specialist in Balrothery, he plans to take extra security measures and give it a deeper mooring to fend off further attacks on the craft.

Local gardaí are now investigating the incident and appealing for any witnesses who may have been in the harbour area last Tuesday night. Despite the set back, the defiant owner of the business, Eoin Grimes is determined to squeeze as much out of the remaining weeks of the season by getting back on the water as soon as possible.

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