Equipment stolen from firefighters during training exercise

Vital equipment was stolen from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service yesterday while firefighters were busy training on the River Wear.

Crews used two specialist cradles, like the one pictured, to transport the engines for our inflatable rescue boat from the fire engine to the water’s edge at Claxheugh Rocks, next to City of Sunderland Rowing Club. They attached the engines to the boat and began their training. When they returned to the slipway, both cradles had been taken.

Without these cradles, our Swiftwater Rescue Team are unable to safely transport or store the boat’s engines. This could seriously affect our ability to carry out water rescues and provide support at water-based incidents.

John Pratt, Area Manager for Service Delivery, said:

“Our inflatable rescue boat is often called out to incidents on the River Wear, so it’s particularly disappointing that this happened there.

Replacing this equipment will take time and incur significant costs, so we’re urging anyone with information to come forward. It’s possible that whoever took the cradles did not realise how important they are to our work, but until they are returned or replaced our response to water-based incidents could be delayed.”

Northumbria Police have been informed of the theft and are investigating. Anyone with information that could help is asked to contact them by calling 101.

If you were involved in the incident and you or someone you know has the cradles, please return them to any Tyne and Wear fire station. It’s important for crews to get this lifesaving equipment back as soon as possible, to minimise the risk to public safety without incurring significant replacement costs.

Blue engine cradle on wheels