Collection after thieves nab Sidmouth lifesavers’ bikes

Guy Russell and Guy Bennett will be paddle boarding The Jurassic Coast. Ref shs 4920-36-14TI. Pictur

Guy Russell and Guy Bennett will be paddle boarding The Jurassic Coast. Ref shs 4920-36-14TI. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

A collection has been launched to help two lifesavers replace the bikes they use when duty calls after they were both targeted by thieves.

Guy Bennett can use his to beat the traffic and reach the Sidmouth Lifeboat HQ within a couple of minutes of his pager going off; Phil Collins can be at Sidmouth Fire Station and in his uniform in the same length of time.

Fortunately, Phil’s has been recovered after it was taken from outside his Tyrrell Mead home - but a spokesman wrote online how serious it could have been.

He said: “Another of your community firefighters has had his bike stolen from outside his house.

“This particular firefighter could be dressed and at the station in less than 120 seconds from the alerter going off.

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“To go outside and find your transport missing will add time to getting the pump out. Locking up the bikes also add vital seconds to responding.

“If you know or hear anything please educate them - the results of these thefts could be life changing for someone.”

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Guy’s Whyte 801 hard-tail mountain bike was on the beach near the Belmont Hotel before it was stolen on Monday evening (August 28).

He said: “Usually I get to the lifeboat station within two minutes. It would probably take five to 10 minutes if I drove through town with the traffic the way it is – especially in the summer. These minutes are crucial if there is somebody in the water in desperate need of help.”

Guy, who joined the lifeboat crew in 2010, described his bike as dark grey/black, with wide handlebars, bright yellow pedals and New Devon Army cow-shaped sticker on the frame.

The collection to replace it is at Cycle Service, in Vicarage Road.

It was started by a woman who asked to remain anonymous so the good deed speaks for itself.

She said: “I wondered if people might be interested in a whip-round.

“The photo of Guy’s bike was shared 150 times on Facebook. If each of them put in £2 or £3 that would help to replace his bike.

“Guy gives his time up to help people. It seems only fair we might help him in return.”

Anyone with information about the theft of Guy’s bike is asked to call the police on 101 and quote crime reference CR/073802/17.

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