Hugh and Janice Vinning were asleep on their 30 ft motor cruiser in Elizabeth Marina when the boat started to rock just after midnight on Friday.’We were woken by someone climbing on the back of the boat, because when someone does that the boat rocks,’ said Mr Vinning.’My wife went out of the cabin first and saw a face peering in.
She screamed, and I pulled on some trousers and my sandals and gave chase.’Mr Vinning ran up the ramp after the figure before dashing back to the boat to try to find his mobile phone and call 999.After a few panicked moments, the couple, who live in St Helier, failed to find the phone and Mr Vinning ran back up the ramp to call from a payphone.’I got back up the ramp and saw two of them just standing there,’ he added.
‘I think they must have thought I was scared and had given up the chase.
I called the police and gave chase again.
They ran along towards the cinema and hopped over a fence on to the Cameron’s building site.
I flagged down officers in a passing police car who asked me if I was the 999 caller.
They were there within minutes.
It was really good.’Mr Vinning returned to his boat as the police sealed off the area and called in Storm, a police dog, and his handler.Within ten minutes, the officers arrived at the boat to tell the Vinnings that they had found the two alleged thieves hiding on the building site.’It was a very scary experience, finding a stranger on your boat in the middle of the night,’ said Mr Vinning.
‘You lock everything when you go away to France, but you don’t expect this to happen in the Elizabeth Marina.’Insp Sara Garwood said: ‘We would not always recommend that people give chase to suspects, but in these circumstances we would praise the couple for their prompt action in alerting the police.’A man and a woman, both aged 18 and from St Clement, were arrested and charged with the theft of items from other boats in the Marina.
They will appear in court tomorrow.