Wednesday, September 22, 2021
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Ferry bosses say buildings targeted at Hythe Pier

Hythe Pier

It comes just weeks after campaigners celebrated the success of a major fundraising campaign launched to save the ferry service that operates from the pier

Ferry bosses have revealed that thieves arriving by boat targeted buildings at the end of Hythe Pier three times in less than a week.

During one of the raids they created a hole in the floor and lowered cable worth £500 to one of three vessels waiting below. They also damaged some of the recent restoration work that has been carried out by the Hythe Pier Heritage Association.

Police are studying CCTV images of the thieves, who are thought to have crossed from the other side of Southampton Water.

It comes just weeks after campaigners celebrated the success of a major fundraising campaign launched to save the ferry service that operates from the pier.

Villagers sprang into action earlier this year after Covid restrictions resulted in the service being starved of passengers and income. They staged a raft of fundraising events, including a 24-hour Walk the Pier Challenge, and were able to present the operator, Blue Funnel Ferries, with a cheque for more than £40,000.

The theft of the cable, which could have resulted in one of the boats being put out of action, occurred on the night of August 16-17.

Burglars accessed the pierhead via an adjoining pontoon before breaking into one of the wooden buildings by kicking in the door. They also targeted the waiting room on the other side of the 700-yard long jetty.

A ferry spokesman said: They damaged both the access door and the door from the waiting room to the kitchen area. There they removed a loose section of floor, creating a hole from which they lowered 25 metres of cable to a waiting boat before making their escape.

The spokesman said: The loss of the cable and other wanton damage meant Jenny Blue could not be refuelled before her first crossing the next morning. Fortunately repairs were affected before the refuelling that was needed.

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