Maritime Volunteer Service national resilience manager David Dobson, by the Isle of Wight rescue boat whose engine has been stolen. Picture by Laura Holme.
THE joy of receiving a Queen’s volunteering award turned sour just days later for members of the Island Maritime Volunteer Service, when thieves stole the outboard engine from their emergency boat.
Just as the Isle of Wight was being battered by gale-force winds and covered in floods, the service found itself out of action because of the theft of an outboard engine, worth more than £2,000, from its rescue craft.
The charity even had to inform emergency services, including the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service and the coastguard, it would be unable to respond to a call-out during the last few days of torrential rain because of the theft.
Now, the charity is hoping a kind-hearted Samaritan can step forward and lend an engine until its insurance claim is dealt with and a permanent replacement can be found.
Members of the charity were told they had received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service on December 12. However, just six days later, thieves made off with the engine, which was stored with the rescue boat at a paddock next to Rose Cottages, Hale Common, Arreton.
The team had been introduced to the Queen during her visit to the Isle of Wight last July.
David Dobson, the regional and national resilience manager for the charity, whose home at Rose Cottage is next to the paddock, said: "I was gutted when I found out. Because of the weather being as it is, there is a good chance we would be getting a call from the emergency services and we have helped out quite a lot during the course of the year.
"We have had to tell them at the moment, we are sorry. We have obviously got to sort out the insurance and that takes time."
The stolen outboard is a 9.9 horsepower Mercury long shaft.
l Anyone who can help with a temporary engine can call David on 01983 865834.