Security call by owner of stolen boat

A KEEN sailor reunited with his stolen £150,000 yacht today called for a security review at an Ipswich marina.Howard Davies was speaking after a seafaring thief was able to dupe his way out of Haven Marina, Tovells Wharf on Fridayand escape with his 46-foot vessel.

A KEEN sailor reunited with his stolen £150,000 yacht today called for a security review at an Ipswich marina.

Howard Davies was speaking after a seafaring thief was able to dupe his way out of Haven Marina, Tovells Wharf on Fridayand escape with his 46-foot vessel.

Although it was recovered a few miles downstream at Trimley on Tuesday, the 56-year-old believes the incident highlighted a major flaw in security.

He said: "I'm flabbergasted something like this could happen. I can't believe he was allowed to leave without being stopped."

Mr Davies, who owns a ferry-booking agency in Ipswich, believes the thief conned his way out.

He said: "Apparently he claimed he couldn't speak English and then pointed to the lock asking if it could be opened so he could go. Then he was allowed to pass through."

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A spokesman for Associated British Ports, who own the marina, said security arrangements have since been reviewed but no changes will be made.

He said: "A network of CCTV cameras protects the complex and mobile port security guards make regular visits as part of their rounds on the port estate.

"We're currently assisting the police with their investigation into the theft."

Mr Davies said the strain of having his yacht stolen has taken its toll over the past few days.

He said: "I'm very happy to have it back but I'm exhausted because I haven't been sleep for the past two or three nights.

"That boat is like a house to me. It's very personal and you really feel as though someone has died. If someone came along and picked up your house and took it away you'd have a very similar feeling."

Mr Davies is still counting the cost of damage done to his 18-month-old yacht, Direct Ferry, but he has already established a number of items are missing.

It is currently moored at Levington Marina, where it was taken after police found it abandoned at about 11.45am on Tuesday.

Detectives are still hunting for the culprit seen sailing the yacht out of the marina.

He is described as white, in his forties, between 5ft8ins and 6ft and of medium build. He wore a hat, a yellow or orange fleece top and jeans.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to contact Dc Judith Mayhew at Ipswich CID on 01473 383133 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

What do you think of security at the marina? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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