PICTURES: Fishing boat owner may leave harbour after windows smashed

A fishing boat owner hit by vandals said he and his neighbours were considering moving their vessels, meaning the harbour board could suffer financially.

Tuesday, 13th February 2018, 4:25 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 3:16 am
Martin Davey was one of several boat owners whose vessel was damaged in a vandalism spree. Picture: Kate Shemilt

Martin Davey said his vessel was one of several pelted with stones and glasses by youths on Thursday, February 1 where they are moored, next to the Littlehampton Harbour Office in Pier Road, Littlehampton.

Sussex Police said 'a small group of boys' was responsible for the incident, which affected around five boats and took place between midday on the Thursday and 6am the next day.

According to Mr Davey, they smashed three windows of his boat, which meant the plasterer would have to pay £1,000 towards repairs and lose out on least a month’s worth of income for his chartered fishing business, which he does at weekends. He would have made £750 from cancelled jobs that weekend.

Martin Davey was one of several boat owners whose vessel was damaged in a vandalism spree. Picture: Kate Shemilt

The 50-year-old said: "I am so frustrated.

"It is quite a nice spot down there, I wouldn't expect any vandalism. But now, you are going to go down there and all you'll see are smashed and boarded up boats."

The Yapton resident said he and neighbouring boat owners were now considering moving their vessels to the Littlehampton Marina nearby. This would result in the Littlehampton Harbour Board, which they pay annually to moor there, losing money.

According to Mr Davey, the harbour board has CCTV footage of the incident, but it was not being released due to the age of the culprits.

Sussex Police said they were investigating the incident, but the boat owner criticised a lack of response from the police.

He said: "I feel I'm not getting any help with this. Everyone's turning away from this vandalism problem; trying to get a response from anyone is a nightmare."

Vernon Parker, 64, from Icarus Way, Felpham, runs the Our Joy Fishing and Diving business with his son Daniel. Their vessel, the Final Answer, had a window broken in the incident which has grounded the boat for a month.

He said he could not move to Littlehampton Marina because his boat was too large, but felt enough was enough. He said: "It made me feel very bitter, but unfortunately it is part of life. The parents of these children should start taking responsibility for their children."

The Littlehampton Harbour Board has been approached for comment.