Published: 09:00, 05 December 2017
Members of a sailing club have been left “sickened” by the theft of a defibrillator bought following the death of a friend.
The life-saving equipment was installed at Seasalter Sailing Club in 2015 after a member died from a heart attack.
Bit it disappeared last week, with thieves breaking into a secure unit to swipe the £1,400 gadget.
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Commodore Steve Willis said: “I really cannot understand why someone would steal such a vital piece of community safety equipment.
“It has no other use than to provide emergency treatment to an unresponsive person in urgent need; and these devices are well proven in saving lives.
“This loss is particularly sickening to our members as we lost a club member to a heart attack several years ago and that prompted us to work to get the defibrillator in place.
“Only this summer we came close to needing it when our support boat rescued a holiday swimmer with severe breathing difficulties from the sea.”
The defibrillator was jointly funded by the club, Whitstable and Herne Bay Lions and the British Heart Foundation.
It was kept in the club’s public access enclosure, with anyone calling 999 given the location and door lock code to retrieve it.
Mr Willis says it was stolen at some point between Tuesday, November 28, and Saturday, December 2.
“To whoever took the device we urge you to please return it either to the club or to the front door of a police station,” he added.
“It is of no use to you and all its details are registered nationally and with the police. You are potentially preventing lives being saved.”
The defibrillator is a white unit about 300mm square and was taken in its orange carry case along with the necessary leads and chest pads.
Anyone with information about the theft should call police on 101, quoting the reference ZY/59742/17.