Thieves raid Wigan canal cruise boat for alcohol
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The offenders struck in the Wigan Pier boathouse which forms the headquarters for Kittywake Canal Cruises between 3am and 4am on Sunday.
After smashing a window to gain entry to the Kittywake, the vessel which runs popular canal cruises and private functions, they helped themselves to most of the spirits and beer on board.
They then took the family-run business’ smaller working boat, the Wuber, before abandoning it in a bywash in Beech Hill.
Fortunately the business was able to recover the discarded vessel in an operation lasting several hours but is still looking at a four-figure bill in a time of great uncertainty for the hospitality and service industries.
However, Kittywake Canal Cruises said it had received overwhelming public support from Wiganers in the wake of the break-in.
Sandi Carrington from Kittywake Canal Cruises said: “It’s unbelievable. We’ve recently foiled two break-in attempts but now they have managed to do this.
“They’ve smashed a window, climbed through it and stolen all the spirits and most of the beer stock off the boat.
“We’ve now removed all the stock and anything else valuable from the boat.
“We’re possibly looking at a couple of thousand pounds worth of stock and if we weren’t going to do the window repair work ourselves we would be looking at a few more grand.
“We’re obviously closed at the moment and have furloughed all our staff. We’re a small, family-run business and we’ve just got to keep going and praying we will be eligible for the business grants.
“We’ve had so many responses and messages of support from friends, supporters and customers.
“We’re so lucky, we meet the most beautiful people in our job.
“They are so nice and helpful. Someone emailed to say where the boat was and someone said they had cycled up and down the canal looking for it.”
Sandi says the Carrington family have even resorted to patrolling the boathouse at certain times to deter any further criminal activity.
The thieves have also been slammed for their recklessness in abandoning the Wuber in a bywash, which is there to stop flooding by preventing surplus water from flowing over the banks of the canal.
Sandi says The Old Courts, which is helping to redevelop Wigan Pier, is looking at its camera footage of the area.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) have attended the scene and Sandi praised the force’s response to the theft.
Anyone with information about this incident should ring GMP on 101 , quoting incident number 1324 for the date 05/04/20, or ring independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.