NEWPORT — A project ship of the SSS Rampart program broke loose from its mooring last week and was looted multiple times by passersby before being securely stored.
SSS Rampart, a local Sea Scouts chapter, is a cross-industry vocational training program which focuses on teaching skills to youth aged 14 to 21. The group currently has 11 active members.
The boat was donated to SSS Rampart by the Port of Toledo, at which point it was renamed Viceroy’s Redemption. The boat still needs work done before it can be fully operational, but the scouts don’t currently have a shop area they can use to work on it, so Redemption has been being moved from place to place being stored with no trailer.
On Feb. 10, Redemption was moved to an old mooring buoy adjacent to Weiser Point, but the mooring failed the following night and eventually the boat beached itself near the NW Natural facility, about a couple miles downriver.
“My biggest disappointment is that, in the first few hours of it being around, we have had batteries and chargers stolen from the boat,” said SSS Rampart Skipper Leon Noble.
Before the boat was towed to Kevin Hill Marine Services on Friday, it was looted multiple times. Among the items taken were the bilge pump, a charge controller and batteries, as well as the steering wheel. During one looting session, it appears that someone attempted to take the stainless steel rail.
“They stole the rope of the front and tried to use that to take the rail off,” said Noble. “Now it’s bent up a little bit. Is it something we can fix? Probably. Is it something we should have to fix? Never.”
Noble has filed a report with the Newport Police Department regarding the thefts.
What Noble says he and his crew need most right now are people to volunteer their time and expertise — even just one day a year — and a shop area to work on their projects. To learn more about the program or to volunteer, visit sssrampart.weebly.com or www.facebook.com/SSSRampart.