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Council Urges Respect For Essential Waterside Lifesaving Equipment

Mid Ulster District Council is urging those responsible for vandalism of essential lifesaving equipment at its water sites to have respect for the need for such equipment and to stop tampering with throwlines and other items, as vandals target the Moyola River Walk in Castledawson for what is the third time in the past twelve months. 

Despite the Council undertaking weekly inspections of sites, lifesaving equipment, including housing, caps and posts continue to be removed or tampered with, and litter (including dog mess) has been left in some of the vandalised casings. 

Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Cathal Mallaghan, in condemning the vandalism, reiterated the importance of leaving throwlines in place and not tampering with them. 

“Unfortunately, instances involving the destruction of life preserving equipment are all too common at our water sites, and in the past year we have seen vandalism at Moyola River, Coalisland Canal, Brantry Lough, Newferry and Ballyronan Marina.

“All vandalism of and tampering with essential lifesaving equipment must be condemned. When this equipment is damaged maliciously, the vandals can be contributing towards someone losing their life where it would otherwise be saved, and are putting at risk the lives of people from the local community who use lough and riverside walks. 

“This type of behaviour is extremely irresponsible and could have serious consequences, so we would ask that if members of the public do notice or witness any damage to these devices anywhere along the walk that they report it to the police or the council immediately, to allow us to replace the equipment before any one is put in danger.”

The throwlines are essential, potentially lifesaving equipment that can make a difference to someone in trouble in the water where they are unable to assist themselves or until rescue services can reach the scene.

Members of the public can report instances of tampering with life preserving equipment at any Council owned site by phoning the PSNI on 101, contacting the Council’s Parks and Outdoor Recreation service on 03000 132 132 or through the Council’s social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

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