An uninsured boat worth $15,000 used by people with special needs has been stolen from a donation-supported fishing group in Melbourne’s South.
The boat was taken from a secure location in Frankston between 4pm last Friday, September 26, and 8:30am Monday, September 29, right before the group’s best fishing season, which is due to start this month.
The 18-foot vessel was purchased to encourage young people with disabilities to enjoy the sea while benefiting from hand-eye coordination, motor skills and muscle movement offered while fishing.
Introfish, the fishing group, is now relying on support from Bendigo Bank and donations to rent boats to complete the trips, with Introfish president Paul Bennett saying, “they were destined to become weekly [trips].”
Mr Bennett has an emotional attachment to the boat as it was partly funded by a friend who is ill with cancer and whose chances of survival are low. The friend’s support included a no-interest loan in order for Introfish to stay afloat.
Introfish works with various organisations, including the Department of Human Services and Austin Health, to “find an interest that they [those with a disability] enjoy, and get them back into it,” Mr Bennett said.
When asked about the thieves, Mr Bennett said, “What can we say, [we] hope karma pays them a visit.”
If you’re interested in supporting Introfish, donations can be made at www.introfish.org or at any Bendigo Bank branch. – James Davis
Top photo from Introfish’s Facebook page.