Northern Ireland

Portstewart lifeguard hut vandalised overnight

damage to hut shown Image copyright RNLI
Image caption The RNLI has estimated that repairs will cost £500

Vandals have caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage to a beach lifeguard hut in County Londonderry, the RNLI has said.

The unit at Portstewart Strand was discovered daubed with graffiti on Sunday night.

Signs belonging to the National Trust and the Causeway and Glens District Council were also damaged.

Supervisor Karl O'Neill said it was the "worst damage" to an RNLI property that he had ever seen.

The RNLI estimated that repairs will cost £500.

"It is so disheartening to come down here after what was a busy summer season for our lifeguards, who worked hard to keep everyone visiting the beach safe, to see that vandals have completely covered the unit with paint which will be very difficult to remove," Mr O'Neill said.

Image copyright RNLI
Image caption RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor Karl O'Neill said the paint would be very hard to remove

He added: "This shows a complete disregard for the lifesaving work that we do and also for the fact that the RNLI is a charity which relies on the generosity of the public to fund our equipment.

"Can we please appeal to those doing this damage to be mindful that the RNLI is a charity and that our lifeguards provide a rescue service to the public that saves lives".

The RNLI said it is working closely with the police, who are appealing for information.

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