Thieves have broken into a naval patrol boat which the Isle of Man Government is due to present to the Sierra Leone government today, according to reports.
According to the Global Times, they stole equipment including gauges, flat screens and monitors, filters, life jackets among others got missing whilst the vessel was in the custody of a security company responsible for the container section at Water Quay, Bollori Company.
Agriculture Minister Phil Gawne MHK is in the African country today to officially hand it over. He’s with Andy Read, the island’s director of fisheries.
The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Dr Soccoh Kabia told the Global Times the theft was a major embarrassment to the government of Sierra Leone.
Richard Lole, chief executive officer of the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture, issued a statement after iomtoday.co.im got in touch.
He said: ‘It is regrettable that the patrol vessel has been targeted in this way, although we understand that the damage and subsequent theft is relatively minor and can be quickly remedied.
‘The vessel has been donated to the government of Sierra Leone by DEFA and Treasury’s customs and excise division as part of the Isle of Man’s international support programme and commitment to promoting the good governance of fisheries. The World Bank paid for the vessel to undergo a refit and is also funding all operating and maintenance costs for the next two years.
He added: ‘The vessel will be carrying out fisheries protection and law enforcement duties in Sierra Leone and Liberia and the governments there are very appreciative of the Isle of Man’s support. Minister Gawne and fisheries director Andy Read, who officially handed over the patrol vessel today (Monday), have been extremely well received.’
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Weather for Isle of Man
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 26 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 7 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: South west