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...Now a rescue boat is stolen by callous thieves

THIEVES who stole a lifeguard rescue boat from Howth have put lives at risk.

The boat, its engine and other equipment worth €5,000 went missing from the Lifeguard station at Claremont on Friday night/Saturday morning last.

It's the latest in a series of thefts of boats and engines in the Dublin area which appear to be "theft to order" because only very specific items were taken in the latest robbery.

A source at Fingal County Council expressed his outrage.

"On any given day during the summer, hundreds of people visit Fingal beaches and during particularly fine weather this can rise to thousands, with adults and children enjoying seawater swims," he said.

"The council ensures that the main beaches are patrolled by lifeguards, but because of this theft, safety at Claremont could be compromised. The council simply doesn't have thousands of euro to repair and replace essential life-saving items which are destroyed, vandalised or stolen."

Two days after the theft, a man kayaking along Claremont contacted the Coast Guard to say he had towed back to shore two girls when their inflatable device had carried them too far from shore. "If this kayaker had not been in the area, without the lifeguard boat, this could have easily turned into tragedy," the source said.