The thieves broke into the lifeguard station at Rest Bay in Porthcawl at 7.13pm on Tuesday 30th October using significant force to gain entry through a shutter door and smashed outside lights to hide their activity. Undeterred by the lifeguard station alarm system they stole the charity’s ATV quad bike. The vehicle is a red Honda TRX 500 FE Quad Bike (pictured) registration CU09 AWJ worth over £8000. Club Captain Chris Page said, ‘the thieves must have man handled the ATV to remove it from the building as they didn’t have access to the keys. This incident has had a huge impact on our operations and could potentially endanger lives on Rest Bay. Although we don’t officially patrol the beach during the winter months we do provide water safety event cover for a number of surfing competitions. The next surfing event being in just a few weeks time. Without a vehicle this has put our ability to provide safety cover for this event in jeopardy. The ATV is used to launch our surf rescue boat and also as a patrol and response vehicle for incidents that occur on the beach.
During the summer lifeguards at Rest Bay dealt with 93 first aid incidents. In many of these the ATV was used to respond to incidents across the whole of Rest Bay. One example was when lifeguards received reports of an elderly gentleman who had collapsed on the board walk. Our lifeguards responded quickly using the ATV and provided initial casualty care. The man was later flown to hospital by air ambulance. If the quad bike is not recovered we are faced with needing to raise significant funds to ensure we can still provide a first class lifeguard service to the users of Rest Bay. It will also mean that our junior members cannot train as we will be unable to launch the safety boat for training sessions.’
Club Chairman and local PC Chris Bluck said, ‘it is extremely disappointing that thieves would target equipment used to patrol the beach and save lives. The lifeguard club is a charity run and funded through grants and voluntary donations. It costs the club thousands of pounds each year to run, maintain and insure our rescue equipment and to be targeted by thieves in this way is heart breaking. From a policing point of view I would ask anyone to report anything suspicious they may have noticed in the Rest Bay area on Tuesday 30th October. If you noticed people in the area, a van or maybe a vehicle with a trailer parked on the double yellow lines at the rear of the lifeguard station around 7.13pm please pass the information to South Wales Police on 101.