Police have arrested two people following the theft of a specially adapted ski boat which allows disabled people to take part in watersports.
The Centurion Carbon Pro boat, which is worth £65,000, was stolen from Ellingham Waterski and Wakeboard Club, near Ringwood in Hampshire, overnight on March 28.
Following information from members of the local marine community, police found the vessel two days later in a hanger at a disused industrial site in West End, Southampton.
A 59-year-old man and and 50-year-old woman from Poole were held by the police on suspicion of theft and bailed until June.
Hampshire Police have used a “neighbourhood watch on the water” initiative to recover a stolen ski boat used to help disabled people get out on the water.
The Project Kraken programme helped to direct Hampshire Constabulary’s Marine Unit to the vessel and its trailer yesterday, which had been dropped by thieves at a disused industrial site.
PC Matt Gransden said: “Following really good information from a member of our marine community, through Project Kraken, the Marine Unit were led to this site and located the boat intact. The owners are thrilled.
“Project Kraken is a national marine security initiative, a bit like a huge neighbourhood watch on the water, where we work with key stakeholders in the marine community, giving them information and updates about things such as this theft.
“They are our eyes on the water and we have a really good relationship with them. We are very interactive with them and make sure that they give us information on anything they see.
“As we have seen today, we get good results from it.”
Chris Mullins, club owner, who was delighted to be reunited with the boat, added: “We know of boats that have gone missing so for Hampshire Police to find it, especially in a hanger like this, they have done a really good job.”
A brand new boat worth £65,000 was stolen from the Ellingham Waterski and Wakeboard Club near Ringwood in the New Forest on Easter Monday.
The club teaches water skiing to all ages and at all levels and runs a special programme for people with disabilities.
Ellingham Waterski and Wakeboard Club”s manager Christopher Mullins told YBW: “We locked up at 7pm on Monday. I returned to the club at 8.30am the morning after to find the gate locks broken and the boat gone. The police was alerted immediately.”.
Many supporters have taken to social media to condemn the thieves’ actions and to try and locate the Centurion Carbon Pro taken from the Hampshire club.
A message posted on Facebook shows the boat in question, in the hope that somebody will recognise it and help locate it.
The post reads: “PLEASE SHARE ASAP… We are a small waterski lake and a disabled center for waterskiing!!! Our BOAT WAS STOLEN last night it’s a blue and grey unique centurion carbon pro…
“This boat is brand new and totally unique with not another in the world with the same colour scheme. It’s a Centurion Carbon Pro, light blue with 2 light blue stripes down side! Stolen from Ellingham waterski club just north of Ringwood. If you have any information please call 07894153395 if you know anything”.
Mullins has praised the help and support received from the public and people in the industry who are helping Ellingham Waterski and Wakeboard Club find the boat.
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