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Yacht club programs could crumble

Thieves destroy coaching boat in reckless act

A stolen and damaged coaching boat may leave Powell River Yacht Club unable to run its youth programs for the summer or force it into debt.

Overnight Friday, July 8 thieves stole the black 12-foot Achilles inflatable boat, outfitted with a borrowed 15-horsepower Johnson outboard motor, from docks on Powell Lake next to Shinglemill Pub and Bistro. The boat is a mandatory piece of equipment used to coach and guide young sailors during summer sailing programs.

Police recovered the boat in Block Bay. Thieves had run it aground, stabbed it multiple times, and left it deflated, partially submerged and unsalvageable. The engine was recovered but its condition is unknown at the time of writing.

Without insurance or funds, the club is having to make a decision whether or not to replace the boat.

Dan Dyble, club treasurer, said the theft is a major blow and could prevent hundreds of youth from attending summer programs. Coaches hired specifically for the programs may be out of work. The boat is also used by sailing clubs in Comox and on Hornby Island, so its destruction may affect programs in those locations as well.

Dyble is stunned. “We may have to shut it down,” he said. “I just hate it when crap like this happens....I don’t get it.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Powell River RCMP 604.485.6255 or CrimeStoppers 1.800.222.8477 (TIPS). An account has been opened at First Credit Union for donations.