A COUPLE say they have been crushed after their yacht was turned upside down by thieves last week.
Tracey McNamee and her partner Duncan Reynolds saw their boat washed ashore after Storm Eleanor hit.
But before anything could be done about the marooned yacht, thugs ransacked the boat, stealing almost everything from inside.
The couple say they are heartbroken, with the yacht being a lifelong dream of theirs – and not being in a financial position to repair the boat and replace everything that was taken from inside.
Tracey, 47, said: ‘We have a yacht that was kept at Port Solent – it is something that was a lifelong aspiration for us both, and we loved using it.
‘We have had it for about five years now, and spend an awful lot of time on board.
‘When Storm Eleanor hit the boat was run ashore. The tide went back out and it was stuck there.
‘We arranged for it to be taken back to Port Solent and assumed that would be the end of that.’
But upon returning to the yacht to see how much damage had been done by the storm, Tracey and Duncan discovered that the yacht had already been ransacked, with thieves leaving next to nothing behind.
Tracey said: ‘The yacht has been completely trashed by thieves.
‘Pretty much everything has been taken from the yacht – all that is left inside is the cooker.
‘We are absolutely heartbroken by what has happened.
‘I think what stung the most for us is the fact that it happened so quickly – the boat may have still been ashore but we had already made arrangements for it to go back into the water.
‘In less than one week it has been run ashore by the storm, had the hull destroyed by the elements and now been broken into by thieves.
‘Because the only thing that is left in there is the cooker, I am sure someone must have seen whoever was in there taking everything out.
‘Not only does this not all add up, but it is soul-destroying to think that someone could do something like this.’
Tracey believes that due to where the yacht is, the incident has most likely taken place out at sea.
She said: ‘You cannot get to the yacht from the shoreline, and it isn’t even visible from Port Solent or most of the surrounding area.
‘Therefore the only way someone could get to it would be from the water – so I feel as though whoever ransacked it also has access to a boat.’
According to Tracey, the combination of the damage done to the yacht as well as the break-in means the couple’s days out on the water may well be numbered.
She said: ‘It is my partner’s life work and our personal dream to have a yacht.
‘From being washed ashore and on to the rocks, there was a significant amount of damage to the hull of the boat.
‘The repairs alone are expensive enough, but to replace everything that was taken from inside would cost thousands on top of that.
‘We could never afford to replace it all, and so even if we could repair the yacht, there wouldn’t be much point in actually doing so, which is quite saddening.’