Thieves nick shower heater

By John Maslin -
1 comment
These girls were showering in the cold after thieves made off with a gas water heater at the Aramoho Wanganui Rowing Club. Back row (from left): Poppy Moody, Zoe Psathas and Marina Malaponti. In front (from left): Sreymuch Soth and Niamh Murphy.   Photo/Bevan Conley
These girls were showering in the cold after thieves made off with a gas water heater at the Aramoho Wanganui Rowing Club. Back row (from left): Poppy Moody, Zoe Psathas and Marina Malaponti. In front (from left): Sreymuch Soth and Niamh Murphy. Photo/Bevan Conley

As if damage from the October flood was not enough to contend with, the Aramoho Wanganui Rowing Club now has to replace a gas water heating unit stolen off the roof of its Somme Pde clubrooms.

The theft was noticed on Saturday morning.

The club is being used by a novice girls' eight from the Star Boating Club in Wellington, training for an upcoming regatta at Lake Karapiro next month.

Barbara Hammond, a spokesperson for the Aramoho club, said the girls returned from a session on the Whanganui River on Saturday morning and headed for the showers only to find cold water coming out of them.

"They contacted our club president, Allan Luff, and he thought at first the power hadn't been turned on. But then he came down and found the heating unit had been removed," Mrs Hammond said.

She said the theft would have involved at least two or three people because of the water heater's location.

She believes it had been removed by people "who knew what they were doing".

There was no damage to the roof and the water and gas had also been turned off by the thieves.

Mrs Hammond said the property was insured and the equipment will be replaced but the theft was just another hurdle the fundraisers at the club would have to tackle.

There are two heating units on the roof, one to heat the showers and the other servicing the kitchen. Both are clearly visible from the street above.

As well as the theft, the building had been targeted with graffiti in recent days.

"This is just another problem for us. Since the floods the ground in front of the clubrooms has been further eroded and now our building has developed a slight tilt," she said.

The October floods brought the river level almost level with the first floor and did more damage to the riverbank.

"We had to float boats out of the ground-level storage area, and one of the coaches stayed the night because we had to leave all the doors wide open.

"Horizons Regional Council planted flax along the riverbank, but that's been washed away. We've told the Wanganui District Council that something has to be done to stabilise the bank with either retaining wall or rocks. But they're talking about costs of $70,000, and that's money we don't have," she said.

"We're struggling with our fundraising already because of the floods, which cost between $4000-$5000 to clean up after. Then there was some damage to the electrics in the building. We had to fix that and also had to replace security camera sensors around the building that got water-damaged.

"We've been struggling since October, so here we go again."

The club had been working to fundraise for equipment, and its efforts were starting to bear fruit. "Our under-23 rowers competed at Lake Karapiro earlier this month and made 21 A finals. That's the first time the club's ever done that well," she said.

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