Friday 20 September 2019

Two Marinewatch volunteers spat at while on patrol

Esther Hayden

Two ringbuoys were vandalised in less than 24 hours at the weekend putting lives at risk.

The incident comes a week after two Marinewatch volunteers were spat at from a passing car as they patrolled Wexford Bridge.

A ringbuoy at Ferrycarrig Bridge was removed from its protective box at some stage on Saturday while a second ringbuoy at Crescent Quay was removed in the early hours of Saturday night Sunday morning.

Both were replaced by members of Wexford Marinewatch when they were discovered.

The Ferrycarrig ringbuoy was returned to Marinewatch on Sunday morning by local man Paid Bates who spied it upriver while out flying his drone taking aerial pictures of the area.

Seeing the ringbuoy Paid went to the area and located it before returning it to Marinewatch volunteers.

Frank Flanagan of Wexford Marinewatch says he expected the ringbuoy that was removed at the Crescent will wash up on the shoreline over the coming days. 'That's usually what happens', he said.

'It's just so frustrating. Taking the ringbuoys is just so uncalled for. There is absolutely no point to it and people who just throw them into river for no reason are playing with people's lives.

The previous weekend two Marinewatch volunteers were spat at as they patrolled Wexford Bridge.

Two of the volunteers were walking along the bridge ensuing there was no one there in difficulty when the male passenger of an Opel Corsa car leaned out of the car and spat at them.

Frank Flanagan said the entire incident was captured on CCTV and is currently being investigated by Wexford Gardai.

'We can only describe this assault as despicable and hope that the person who carried it out hangs their head in shame. No person who volunteers should be subjected to such abuse while out trying to do their bit for the community.

'All our volunteers leave their homes and their families and put themselves on the front line to help others. They should not be subjected to this abuse.

'Fortunately it was an isolated incident.

'It's the first time in our four year history that something like this has happened. The volunteers weren't covered in much liquid after being spat at but that's not the point. It shouldn't have happened at all.

'Luckily the whole thing was captured on CCTV and is under investigation. It was just so uncalled for. It makes no sense to do this.'

Wexford People

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