Sadly yesterday evening around 17.00 one of our committee members was alerted to our jetty being on fire. The blaze was attacked with buckets of water and finally extinguished with the clubs long hose pipe. A red dinghy was found to be the cause resting on the lower landing stage. The fire brigade attended with 3 appliances and pulled the remains of the boat off and placed it alongside the slip.
Earlier in the day, Medway Towns Rowing Club had reported one of their coaching launches stolen to Kent Police.
Separately, the Gransden family reported intruders, possible illegal immigrants on their sailing smack, Thistle off of Shoregate Wharf. It was also reported that a red dinghy/rib was alongside Thistle. The Coast Guard attended, but with no enforcement powers and the tide out were unable to do anything. Kent Police decided it didn’t require an attendance.
Had Kent Police shown an interest in the possible illegal immigrants and intercepted them as the tide came in, that issue could have been resolved and MTRC’s stolen launch could have been recovered.
Instead, due to Kent Police’s ineffectual response, the launch was driven to our jetty and set alight, completely destroying the launch and causing serious damage to our jetty.