Theft of boats and equipment leaves Matlock Canoe Club feeling wrecked

The plastic kayaks, which the club uses to hold its beginner lessons, were taken along with around 25 paddles, spray decks and other kit items from a previously secured container in a fenced compound near the base entrance. from the heights of Abraham.

The robbery took place between noon and 6 p.m. on Tuesday July 5 and would likely have required tools and a vehicle, which may have caught the attention of witnesses coming and going from the heights of the nearby station.

Club secretary Donna Hawkins said: “Whoever did this knew what they were doing. They didn’t stumble upon it by chance. There would probably have been hundreds of people around.

Register to our daily newsletter

Donna Hawkins of the Matlock Canoe Club.

“They may have waited for a quiet moment to use an angle grinder on the gate, but people probably wouldn’t mind seeing boats loaded into a van.”

Donna was called to the scene by heights staff and then flagged down a passing police community support officer.

With more and more people taking up paddle sports during the pandemic, the used canoe market is currently booming. Boats can sell for hundreds of pounds at a time.

The missing kayaks include two blue and white Dagger Dynamos, four blue Piranha Masters, an orange and blue-green Dagger RPM, a yellow Dagger GTX and an orange Dagger Redline.

The boats were kept in a well secured container at Matlock Bath.

Donna said: “They left the slalom boats which would be harder to get rid of, but these go on eBay all the time.”

The loss comes at a particularly frustrating time for the club, who are in the process of holding their first beginners course since 2019.

Donna said: “It’s the demoralizing factor as much as anything. We are working on the insurance situation but are very grateful to have received a £500 donation from a local business and offers of spare boats. »

A Derbyshire Police spokesman said: “Inquiries are ongoing and we would like to hear from anyone who may have noticed anything suspicious, or with any information that may help. Please contact us on 101 or non-emergency channels online, quoting reference 22000368860.”