Equipment stolen from historic vessel replaced through generous donation
PUBLISHED: 16:38 03 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:38 03 June 2019
The crew aboard a historic fishing trawler are celebrating after a generous donation allowed stolen equipment to be replaced.
Volunteers on the Mincarlo, the last surviving sidewinder from Lowestoft's famous fishing fleet, were left distraught after the vessel's brass ship's log was stolen at around 5.20am on Saturday, May 11.
Entry was forced onto the floating museum before the bridge window door was smashed and the precious navigation instrument taken, while the boat's life raft was also damaged.
Step forward former Lowestoft fisherman Bob Stockley, who was determined to preserve this important symbol of maritime history and donated a replacement log.
Paul Mitchell, chairman of the Lydia Eva and Mincarlo Trust, emphasised his delight at the kind gesture.
"These ships's logs are around, but the one we had was pure brass and so it was quite rare," said Mr Mitchell. "The saddest thing about ours being stolen was the sentimental value as it belonged to my late step father, who bequeathed it to one of our crew who was a good friend of his.
"Bob is an ex-fisherman out of Lowestoft and was involved in the oil and gas industry for many years. He got in touch with us and said he'd like to help.
"It was a very generous gesture and we are hugely grateful to him."
Following the burglary, two Lowestoft men - aged 20 and 22 - were arrested in connection with the incident and later released under investigation while police enquiries continue.
Mincarlo, docked at Heritage Quay off South Pier, remains open to the public until October and offers a floating tribute to the men who braved the hostile North Sea to bring fish back to port.
She is the last surviving vessel to be built in Lowestoft and its engine was also made in the town in 1961.
Despite the trawler suffering such a devastating blow, Mr Mitchell says the burglary prompted an inspiring public reaction.
"You would be surprised at just how many people have been offering to help," added Mr Mitchell. "So many people have been down on the boat asking if we need anything.
"Fortunately we have a very capable team and all the damage has been fixed - she is back to how she was."