LIFESAVING equipment used by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) along some of North Tyneside’s most popular beaches has been stolen.
Essential items like handheld radios, telephones and radio charges were taken by thieves overnight between 6pm on Monday July 9 and 10am on Tuesday July 10.
Both of the charity’s lifeguard units at Longsands Beach and King Edward’s Bay in Tynemouth were broken into.
RNLI lifeguards continue to operate their daily beach safety patrols with radio equipment that has been loaned from neighbouring RNLI units.
Chris Mason, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, said: “Thankfully we weren’t called out to a rescue straight after the break-ins because our response would have been slower than normal as the thieves had compromised our communication system.
“As a charity, the RNLI relies on public donations to pay for our lifesaving equipment and we were devastated to discover the thefts.
“We will now be looking at providing additional security at our units, which will mean even more of our supporters’ contributions diverted away from saving lives.”
Acting Sergeant Louise Jackson from the North Shields Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “We are appealing for information after lifeguard units at the Long Sands and King Edward’s Bay were broken into overnight and equipment stolen.
“At this stage it appears these thefts are linked, and these thieves are stealing potentially life saving equipment.
“We’d ask anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity overnight on the beaches to contact police on 101 ext 69191.”