Fifty-foot steel Bonikowski built boat missing from Chorley

Potential buyers are being warned at the start of the season to ensure vendors can prove ownership of vessels being offered for sale.

The warning comes from a firm of loss-adjustors following the theft of a 50ft steel Bonikowski-built narrowboatRebecca Kathleenthat was discovered missing from its moorings at Botany Bay, Chorley on Sunday 22 March 2009.

Its owners – the Harrison family from Leigh, Lancs last visited the boat at Christmas and were astounded when their much loved family heirloom had disappeared from its British Waterways mooring at Botany Bay.

The boat was completed in December 1999 by a member of the Harrison family who has since passed away bequeathed it to his Sister and her children who treasured this vessel greatly.

The vessel is finished in a distinctive red and Oxford blue with black hull and black grit finish roof. It is powered by a Ford 1.8 litre diesel engine and had cream curtains.

The hull number is 059 and the craft was British Waterways registered – no. 504429. The name is not marked on the hull.

Two men were seen taking the boat away in January 2009 having claimed they had bought the craft from the Owners.

A spokesman for C Claims Loss Adjustor told PBO: ‘Although most stolen or missing craft on the inland waterways are eventually recovered, some remain on the ‘missing’ list and eventually will re-circulate into innocent purchasers hands.

‘The difficulty is that the ‘innocent’ purchaser will have acquired a stolen boat and if it is located in his or her possession they will lose out as the law remains very simple – you cannot own stolen property.

‘All members of the public considering purchase of a narrowboat should make sure they check the history of any boat they are considering buying and ensure they have satisfied themselves that their potential purchase has not been reported stolen historically or have any outstanding finance upon it.

‘Marine finance is offered by a very select few companies most of whom are regular advertisers in the Boating Press. Whilst they may be prevented by Data Protection legislation from providing details of a Borrower they will answer simple ‘yes/no’ questions on whether a particular boat is mortgaged.’

If you have any information concerning the present whereabouts of theRebecca Kathleenor any other stolen vessel, contact the Police at Chorley, tel: 01772 415566 – crime ref: CA 09 00933 – or C Claims Adjusters, tel: 0208 502 6644; email: