Anger after charity mine attacked again

Picture by Julian Brown 25/09/16


Frank Pook, the Fleetwood agent for the Shipwrecked Mariners Society, pictured next to the red sea mine which is now a collection point for the charity which thieves keep targeting.

Picture by Julian Brown 25/09/16 Frank Pook, the Fleetwood agent for the Shipwrecked Mariners Society, pictured next to the red sea mine which is now a collection point for the charity which thieves keep targeting.

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There was anger in Fleetwood after a distinctive charity collection point on the seafront was broken into on several consecutive nights.

The well-known Fleetwood sea mine on The Esplanade was broken into last Tuesday night and around £15 donated to the Shipwrecked Mariners Society was stolen.

After new locks were put on it, it was targeted again on the Wednesday and Thursday nights but the culprits didn’t manage to get in.

It followed an incident at the end of August when £10 was stolen. The round red mine has been a feature on the town’s seafront for almost 70 years.

However Frank Pook, the Fleetwood agent for the Shipwrecked Mariners Society, said he has been heartened by the response from some local people.

He said: “Since this latest incident, some people in Fleetwood have offered to donate to the Society. It has been quite touching to see how people have reacted and it restores your faith in human nature. They wanted to know how to give money so I directed them to our website.”

He added: “It’s a shame to see how low some other people will go just to get a few pounds - especially when the money is for charity and intended to help people. They are going to so much effort to try and break into it, it’s just outright hooliganism.”

Founded in 1839, the Shipwrecked Mariners society provides a variety of help to former merchant seamen, fishermen and their widows and dependants who are in need.

The charity decided to save the second World War devices, originally used to protect Britain’s coastlines, and create novel collection points for its cause.

Fleetwood resident John Evans, of Poulton Road, said: “It makes me sick that people have tried this again, they have zero respect.”

Jane Fishwick, writing on the Fleetwood Area Police Facebook site, commented: “I will donate £20 towards the missing money, how do I do this without putting it in the actual collecting container?

“This is disgraceful. Why are people so selfish? It makes me feel very sad.”

A Fleetwood Police spokesman said of the mine: “If you see anyone tampering with it please let us know.”

“There is only one person allowed to maintain and empty it.”