Two Marine Mammal ambulance trailers belonging to British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) have been stolen from Devon, and a reward is being offered for their safe return.
The trailers, which form an essential part of the BDMLR network in the southwest, were taken from Exe Valley Leisure Centre in Tiverton.
A spokesperson from BDMLR said: “This kit was essential for our charity’s fast response across not only Devon, but the surrounding counties. This year even helping cover Wales. It could be called upon wherever needed in larger strandings or training.
“In the last week in North Devon alone, the team have been called to three grey seal pups in need, a fin whale and even a tuna, not to mention two school educational visits.”
Thankfully, a keen-eyed leisure centre user spotted one of the missing trailers in Bampton and it has been secured and retrieved.
The second trailer is still missing, and unfortunately this one was purchased only a few weeks ago with funds raised by the GMB Union and was taken before it could even have its BDMLR signage added (apart from a BDMLR sticker on one of the back doors). It has already attended rescues and has also been used to recover animals for necropsy while working with CSIP.
The spokesperson continued: “This callous theft of charity property will seriously impact on our ability to support and protect wildlife in the area.
“If you see anything or have any information as to the whereabouts of this white Ifor Williams BV84G box trailer, contact Devon and Cornwall Police on 101, anonymously via Crimestoppers, or direct to BDMLR on 01825 765546.”
Chris Berry, the Devon Co-ordinator, is offering a £100 reward for information leading to its safe return.