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Kayaks worth €3,000 stolen from famous Achill beach


Anton McNulty

GARDAÍ in Achill are investigating the theft of six kayaks worth approximately €3,000 that were stolen from Keem Bay last week.
The kayaks, which belonged to water sports providers Keem Adventure, had been chained together at Keem Bay. They were stolen sometime last week before the theft was reported on Friday morning, June 11.
Keem Adventure provides kayaking as well as snorkelling tours around Keem Bay. Tojo Lazzari, who operates the company, said he was saddened by the thefts.
“In the first half of June we only operate at the weekends, so we have not been able to pinpoint what date the kayaks were stolen. The six kayaks were all chained up and out of the way and it was only on Friday morning when our instructors went to work  that they noticed they were stolen. Where we left them we thought they would be save and secure, so for this to happen at the start of the tourism season is very sad,” he told The Mayo News.

Buyers beware
Despite Keem Bay being very busy last week, no concrete leads of when the kayaks were stolen have emerged. Five of the kayaks (all singles) were worth up to €500 each, with one double worth €650. All were made by the ‘Winner’ company.
Mr Lazzari believes that they may have been loaded in a van and will probably be put up for sale online.
“Since the lockdown, kayaking has become very popular and they [kayaks] are available to buy on online sites. Whoever stole these will probably put them for sale online but will likely use a different photo to the one they are selling. They could get up to €300 by selling it online and I would ask people to be careful when buying,” he said.
Lazzari has been operating in Keem Bay since 2013, initially providing snorkelling tours of the bay. He started providing kayak tours in recent years.
“Kayaking is very popular at this time of the year because the sea is still a bit too cold for snorkelling for some people. I had to cancel bookings this weekend and will have to source new kayaks from somewhere.”
Keem Bay is the most popular tourist attractions on Achill Island. Over the June Bank Holiday weekend hundreds of people travelled there, with many camping overnight. There was many complaints regarding campfires and littering at the beauty spot. In one reported incident, a tent was burnt and left on the beach.
Anyone who may have information on the theft of the kayaks from Keem Bay is asked to contact gardaí in Achill or Westport Garda Station.

3011 MPU