A COWES week raceboat was stolen from its berth at night before being dumped on the shore near Southampton.

The Laser SB3 keelboat was taken from Cowes Yacht Haven overnight on Monday before being left on a mudbank on the Warsash bank of the River Hamble. The boat belonged to Pelican Racing, a charter company based at Cowes which gives people the chance to go sailing for £10.

Company director Phil Devereux said: “We noticed the boat had disappeared this morning and then had a call saying it had been spotted on the Warsash bank.

“Whoever had taken the boat had, to a certain degree, tried to leave it in a semi-safe state because the anchor was out and it was sitting in the mud. We recovered the boat and fortunately, after an initial check over, there seems to be no damage.

“We are researching leads including camera footage at the moment, and of course if anyone has any information we'd like to know about it.”