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Warning issued after life saving water safety equipment damaged

19 September 2023

Derry & Strabane Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) today issued an appeal reminding people of the potentially fatal consequences of misusing life-saving equipment at waterways across the district.

Over the weekend, lifesaving throw-lines were vandalised and thrown into the water at Strabane Canal. Chair of Derry & Strabane PCSP, Councillor Sandra Duffy, said the damage to the equipment could have tragic consequences. “Vandals who recklessly tamper with this equipment are putting people at risk – and could lead to lives being lost. It buys vital time for someone who has fallen into the water until the emergency services arrive. It is important to have this equipment along waterways so that passersby can come to the aid of someone in difficulty if needed.

“They play a very valuable part in water safety and act as a constant visible reminder of the danger that our waterways represent. I would discourage anyone from tampering with this type of vital safety equipment – please help us keep our waterways safe for everyone.

“A life ring or throw-line could be the difference between life and death for someone, who may be in difficulty in the water,” Councillor Duffy went on. “Causing damage to such an important piece of equipment is unacceptable and shows a total disregard for the safety of the local community. Those involved in the removal or damage of this vital equipment need to carefully examine their actions. Think about what you are doing and the possible tragic consequences.”

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