Theft of equipment from donated fisheries protection vessel Panther - D.E.F.A Press Release
The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture has responded to reports that the fisheries patrol vessel being donated by the Isle of Man to the government of Sierra Leone was broken into ahead of the official hand-over.
Richard Lole, Chief Executive Officer of DEFA, said: ‘It is regrettable that the vessel has been targeted in this way, although we understand that the damage and subsequent theft is relatively minor and can be quickly remedied.
‘The vessel has been donated to the Government of Sierra Leone by DEFA and Treasury’s Custom and Excise Division as part of the Isle of Man’s international support programme and commitment to promoting the good governance of fisheries. The World Bank paid for the vessel to undergo a refit and is also funding all operating and maintenance costs for the next two years.’
He added: ‘The vessel will be carrying out fisheries protection and law enforcement duties in Sierra Leone and Liberia and the governments there are very appreciative of the Isle of Man’s support. Minister Gawne and Fisheries Director Andy Read, were cordially invited by the Sierra Leone government to officially hand over the patrol vessel on Monday October 1, 2012, which was extremely well received.’