Motor stolen from marine rescue unit

Supplied photo - POCOMAR's inflatable boat motor was stolen sometime in the last 15 days.

Supplied photo – POCOMAR’s inflatable boat motor was stolen sometime in the last 15 days.

Whoever stole the motor off of Port Colborne Marine Auxiliary Rescue (POCOMAR) unit’s inflatable boat came prepared, said Norm Dashwood.

“The perpetrator(s) cut the lock on the motor, cut the cables, cut the tarp and the ratchet straps,” said Dashwood, POCOMAR’s operations manager.

The 2007, 15HP Mercury outboard motor — black with a Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary sticker on the right side and Nichols Marine sticker on the left rear side — was stolen sometime in the last 15 days

“We put the inflatable boat on a trailer for winter storage on Saturday, Nov. 22 and discovered the motor missing just before the (Port Colborne) parade Saturday.”
Dashwood said the inflatable boat is normally attached to Donald R. Workman, called P1, during the boating season and is used for shallow water rescue.

“The motor was stolen from Sugarloaf Marina parking lot. The inflatable was behind P1.”

The theft marks the second for the unit this year.

“Earlier this season we had an attempt to steal the propellers from P1. This resulted in a loss of a propeller while out on the water because the safety pins had been removed. In years past we have had other break-ins on the boats and several items stolen,” said Dashwood.

He said with incredibly high insurance premiums and deductibles, the all-volunteer unit will have to pay for a new outboard motor out of pocket.

“We aren’t funded by any government agency. We will have to fundraise for a new motor.  Unfortunately, this means that we won’t be able to use those funds for updated life saving equipment and supplies. This could mean life or death for someone on the water next season.”

If there is an upside to the theft, said Dashwood, was that it took place in the off-season.

“We have a bit of time to try and find a replacement. If this had happened mid-season, there is no telling what could have happened. Lives could have been lost.”

With the latest theft, Dashwood said the unit could use indoor storage for both of its boats in the off-season.

“We need it for several reasons, theft is a big one, but also for off-season maintenance, upgrades, and repairs. I would love to put an appeal out to the community for anyone who has an indoor storage area that can hold our vessels to donate that space to the unit,” he said.

“I’d also like to ask the community if they have any knowledge of where our motor has ended up, to contact (Niagara Regional) police or the unit. They can find contact info on our website at www.pocomar.org.

Dashwood said it’s a shame that someone would steal from an all-volunteer rescue unit.

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