THEFT AND vandalism of hundreds of pounds of vital rescue equipment from Dundee’s coastline is putting lives at risk, it has been claimed.
Coastwatch Scotland says public life-saving equipment continues to be stolen or thrown into the river, wasting money and risking public safety.
Equipment has been replaced on more than 60 occasions since April at a cost of about £1,600.
Gareth Norman, of Coastwatch, a volunteer coastal safety and monitoring organisation, said: “Between the airport and Barnhill there are 44 life-saving stations that include a pole and an orange ring. We monitor them because they get stolen or put in the water.
“There is an ongoing issue, particularly in the area between Compass House and Olympia, where the pole and the ring keep going missing.
“We want to reiterate to people that they are there for a reason. I have personally witnessed one of the pieces of equipment being used by a policeman to rescue someone, so there is potential loss of life if they aren’t there.
“We go around every two weeks to check what is missing and the situation is becoming very serious.
“It is essential equipment. We have a large waterfront and there is potential for people falling off the wall or getting into difficulties.”
Mr Norman said: “The equipment is quite expensive. One of the rings will cost about £40 to replace and there are some areas where they are always missing.
“We report it to Tayside Contracts, they replace it and then it has gone again two weeks later.”
Dundee City Council confirmed that since April about £1,600 has been spent replacing 62 items.
City development convener Will Dawson said: “We condemn anyone who steals this vital equipment as they are putting lives at risk.
“This is mindless destruction and could have fatal consequences. This equipment is place for one reason only to save lives.”