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Broughty Ferry RNLI volunteer ‘forced off duty’ by thugs who stole car

Broughty Ferry RNLI lifeboat crew.
Broughty Ferry RNLI lifeboat crew.

A Broughty Ferry RNLI volunteer has been “forced off duty” after thugs stole his car from outside his home in the Douglas area of Dundee.

RNLI volunteer Michael Wilkinson said he was awoken during the early hours of Saturday morning by the sound of people putting tools into his car.

Michael and his neighbour both reported the theft to the police and later discovered that the car had been stolen an hour before but the thieves had returned to steal tools from a van on the same street.

The all weather and inshore lifeboat crew member says the theft of his car means he is no longer able to respond to emergency RNLI shouts.

‘The boat needs enough crew to go out to sea’

“I’m forced to be ‘off duty’ until I have a suitable vehicle to respond if I need to,” Michael said.

“I am part of a crew of volunteers who respond though a 24/7 pager system when the Broughty Ferry lifeboat station is asked by the coastguard to help people in danger off the coast.

“I have a pushbike if push comes to shove, but I wouldn’t be in fit state to do my duties on the boat after cycling to the station.

“If I was called during the theft, I would have responded to the pager, the car would have been gone and I wouldn’t have been able to go to the boat.

Broughty Ferry RNLI lifeboat.

“The boat needs enough crew to go to sea and without the numbers they simply cannot go.

“Broughty Ferry are a lucky station to have extra crew but crew coming from further afield could slow down the response time of the boats.”

Broughty Ferry RNLI shared Michael’s social media post about the theft on Facebook, asking locals to “keep an eye out” for the stolen vehicle.

The post read: “One of our crew had his car stolen last night.

“Please keep an eye out. Thanks.”

One of our crew had his car stolen last night. Please keep a eye out for it. Thanks 👀

Posted by Broughty Ferry Lifeboat – RNLI on Saturday, 5 February 2022

The car is described as a black Kia Rio with the registration number R25 RBN.

Michael added: “The car has the crew member sticker issued to the crew of lifeboats to show people the vehicle belongs to someone who may need to respond to the pager at anytime when the pager sounds.

“It also has a plastic sign with a similar message attached to the passenger sun visor.”

Murray Brown, Coxswain for Broughty Ferry RNLI, said the theft of Michael’s car could have an impact on the crew’s ability to respond to emergencies.

“He’s sort of lost without it,” Murray said.

Murray Brown, Broughty Ferry RNLI coxswain.

“For anybody to lose their car, it’s awful, but it doesn’t help us get the boat to sea if the guys can’t get to the lifeboat station.”

Police said enquiries into the theft “are at an early stage” but have asked anyone with information around the incident to get in touch.

​Sergeant Rory Duncan, from Longhaugh Police Station, said: “Around 4.45am on Saturday, 5 February, we received a report of a black Kia Rio (R25 RBN) being stolen from a property on Balmerino Place.

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Police said enquiries are ongoing into the theft.

“Enquiries into the theft are at an early stage.

“At this time, we ask anyone with information, or local residents with potential CCTV, dashcam or doorbell footage, to please come forward.

“You can call police on 101, quoting incident 0695 of 5 February.”

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