August 12, 2017
Security raised at Burnham Sailing Club after boat mooring ropes cut

Security has been stepped up at Burnham-On-Sea Sailing Club's pontoons this week after vandals cut two sets of boat mooring ropes, leaving them to drift in the estuary.

Andy Walker, Pontoon Officer, told "At some time overnight from last Sunday into Monday morning, the old pilot boat 'Watchet', which has been the club's 'dredger' until recently, was untied from its berth on our small maintenance pontoon."

"The boat then was free to float off when the tide came in that morning. Fortunately it was quiet weather wise and the vessel floated only gently towards the boats opposite on the main pontoon system, one of which is the current pilot boat."

"As luck would have it one of our members was on the riverbank early and saw what was happening."

"He came to tell me and I immediately went down to assess any possible damage and retrieve the situation."

"I then discovered that the substantial mooring rope, a continuous length of 100ft, which had been intricately secured to several mooring points, had been removed completely and stolen by the perpetrator or perpetrators."

"In the event, though the 'Watchet' had reached the opposite boats, it lay gently alongside without doing any damage but it could have been so much worse."

"On Friday morning a team went down to the pontoons as the tide was coming in intending to move some boats around and discovered to their horror that our new dredger 'Brue Blaster' had been cut from its moorings on the sea wall and the maintenance pontoon system leaving it to float across to the main pontoon system also threatening those same boats nearby."

"One length was stolen once again and the other just left hanging from the craft. Luckily we were there as the dredger, a very heavy and angular steel craft, began to float so were able to run to the main pontoon system to avert any collision that might have occurred; this would certainly have caused major damage to those boats had a collision happened."

"Both these incidents would seem to have been perpetrated by the same person(s) in the early hours and can only be viewed as deliberate acts of vandalism and theft."

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