Innovative options are being explored to tackle the vandalism of life rings in Letterkenny.
The local council has been asked to explore ways to introduce tracking devices on life rings by waterways following recent incidents.
The call comes after a number of lifebuoys were repeatedly taken from the Oldtown Bridge around Christmas. Recovery operations required the services of the river rescue team and the assistance of a drone user to try and locate the devices.
Now, a specialised monitoring system has been identified as a possible way to keep track of the vital equipment.
County councillor Gerry McMonagle has asked the Letterkenny Municipal District to look into acquiring a tracker similar to the Lava Sentry Lifebuoy that is in use in Belfast Harbour.
Sentry provides real time monitoring of a lifebuoy or throw rope within its enclosure. An alarm is triggered when a lifebuoy is removed. The device can either serve as a vandalism warning or an alert that the ring is in use and could help save a life.
Cllr McMonagle added that a public information campaign should also be carried out to highlight the dangers of taking life rings.
“We need to get the message out to the public to think about their actions. Potentially they are stealing someone’s life by stealing a lifebuoy,” he said.
Cllr McMonagle’s motion was seconded by Cllr Adrian Glackin, who said: “the process of getting the tracking device is something that should be explored.”