THE mother of a teenager who had his fishing boat stolen says she has been overwhelmed by people’s support.
As previously reported, Mitchell Rigg, 15, of Brewers Lane, Gosport, bought the small tender after saving up cash he made from a paper round and odd jobs.
He discovered it was gone after going back to where he had moored it near Haslar Marina.
Now generous readers of The News have come forward and offered to help hard-working Mitchell out.
Richard Hill, 78, of Leigh Park, contacted us to say he would give Mitchell a 16ft wooden boat he’s got in his garden for free if he was to get it back to Gosport.
And Fareham Hockey Club said it is prepared to hand over £100 to the family towards a new one.
Mitchell’s mum, Jo-Ann Davies, said: ‘He slugged his guts out to get that boat.
‘It’s really lovely that people have offered to help.
‘There really are decent people out there.
‘Mitchell is not the sort of lad who stays inside and plays on a computer. He loves fishing, it’s his life.
‘He doesn’t like getting into trouble – he just likes getting on with life.
‘He loves to be outside and he pays for his own bait and hooks.’
Mitchell paid £50 for the boat and more than £150 on equipment such as lifejackets and an anchor.
Mr Hill, who already has a 24ft boat, was moved by what happened to Mitchell.
‘I felt for him,’ he said.
‘I used to save up for my own things.
‘I thought he might as well have the one in my back garden.
‘I don’t want anything for it.
‘Money isn’t important for me – time is more important to me now.’
Shaun Gray, a spokesman for Fareham Hockey Club, said its members were more than willing to dig deep and donate.
‘I spoke to a few of the lads and I have made the commitment on behalf of the club. It’s a shocking thing to see happen.
Mitchell said: ‘I am quite surprised. I wouldn’t have thought people would have said anything. I’m really grateful.’
Mitchell’s family are offering a reward to anyone who can find The Honeybee boat, which has a plaque with the name Jeanette II on it. It was stolen between July 20 and August 5.
Call police on 101, quoting their crime reference, 44130292002.