Sea Scouts club could lose summer sailing season after thieves steal over $17,000 worth of equipment

WatchA local non-profit that teaches kids how to sail and kayak has been grounded after someone broke in and stole thousands of dollars of equipment. As Rebecca Lawrence tells us, they can't continue without that gear.

The 12th Garry Oak Sea Scouts would normally be getting ready to set sail off the shores of Gyro Beach in Saanich.

But after a major theft, those plans and their season have been anchored down.

The non-profit organization usually teaches kids how to sail and kayak, but they won’t be able to any time soon after making a horrible discovery last week.

“We were here to do a little bit of kayaking on Thursday and someone noticed that that last of our zodiacs was missing,” said Theo Underwood, the group commissioner for the 12th Garry Oak Sea Scouts.

Their inflatable Zodiak, and four onboard motors were stolen from their property after thieves broke into the organization’s outdoor compound and shed.

“Most importantly for us, we can’t run any of our sailing programs without the Zodiacs, because they act as our safety boats,” said Underwood.

No safety boats, means no sailing. What’s worse — this isn’t the first time the group has been targeted by thieves.

Last September, their only two other zodiacs were stolen, and now, the group has none left.

“It’s been a real double whammy amid the pandemic, they took most of our boats and somebody came back to really finish the job,” said the group commissioner.

Between the boats and the motors, thieves took more than a total $17,000 worth of equipment.

Below is a detailed list of the stolen items:

  • 1996 Honda 8HP (possibly white/red/black)
  • 2003 Honda 15HP (silver)
  • 2010 Suzuki 9.9HP (black)
  • 2013 Suzuki 9.9HP (black)
  • 2009 11.5’ 350 RIB HYP

Saanich PD says it wouldn’t have been a one-person job.

“The onboards themselves are at least 80 to 100 pounds each, so four of those were stolen along with a rigid haul inflatable which is not light either,” said Const. Markus Anastasiades of the Saanich PD. “There would have been a vehicle to take the items from the area.”

The boats and motors are covered by insurance, but Underwood says the claim from the theft in September still hasn’t come through, meaning they most likely won’t have a summer sailing season, unless the equipment is returned.

With COVID-19 curbing fundraising efforts, the group can’t afford to replace the equipment.

Police are asking buyers to keep an eye out.

“Please check to see if the motor has been repainted, that’s often a clue. If any of the cosmetics have been altered, and if the serial number has been tampered with or removed completely, that’s a clear sign that it’s probably stolen,” said Const. Anastasiades, who recommends all buyers check all serial numbers on CPIC before purchasing second-hand equipment.

With no other options, the 12th Garry Oak Sea Scouts need the boats and motors to be returned.

“I’m really hopeful that we’re going to get some of our equipment back in a hurry, it seems we’re quickly heading into the sailing season,” said Underwood.

The sea scouts wait, but for now, their season is beached.

Theo Underwood, the group commissioner for the 12th Garry Oak Sea Scouts, said the recent theft a Zodiak and four onboard motors means their program cannot run this year. (CHEK News)

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Rebecca LawrenceRebecca Lawrence

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