Glasgow & West Scotland

Loch Lomond rescue boats damage 'risks lives'

Patrol boat
Image caption The damage to the three boats could cost thousands of pounds to repair

Three boats used to rescue people in difficulty on Loch Lomond have been vandalised.

The Loch Lomond National Park said lives had been put at risk by the "despicable" vandalism of the patrol boats.

Police believe those responsible travelled by boat to the public slipway in Balloch where the craft were stored.

The boats, which are operated by the national park, are also used to monitor wildlife and repair buoys in the loch.

Park 'outrage'

Loch Lomond is regularly patrolled by a team of national park water rangers, using the three rigid inflatables.

Fiona Logan, chief executive of the national park, said: "This is a despicable act of vandalism which has the potential to put lives at risk.

"I am outraged that the huge range of good work carried out on a daily basis by our dedicated team of water rangers can be affected in this disgraceful way.

"The national park boats are funded by public money and an attack like this affects us all."

It is thought the damage done to the boats, which was discovered on Monday, could cost thousands of pounds to repair.

Insp Duncan MacLean, from Alexandria Police Office, said: "This was incredibly irresponsible and could have put lives in danger.

"The only way that this could have been done is by someone approaching the vessels in a boat."

The officer appealed to anyone who saw people acting suspiciously or unfamiliar boats in the area between 16:30 on Sunday and 14:30 on Monday to contact police.

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