Yobs have been accused of putting lives at risk after removing a lifebelt from a popular walking site in Aberdeen.
The lifebelt was set up at Den of Maidencraig in Hazlehead because it suffers from flooding – so it can be used to save the life of someone in difficulty if there is a sudden heavy downpour.
The equipment was removed from its stand last week and ended up on Skene Road before having to be replaced.
Now a councillor is urging vandals to think again before tampering with lifebelts.
Hazlehead, Queen’s Cross and Countesswells councillor Martin Greig said: “The removal was completely irresponsible.
“This reckless act has put people’s lives at risk. It is disgraceful that someone thought they could do something that endangers others.
“Rings are put in place to protect the vulnerable.
“They need to be available as a matter of safety.”
Aberdeen City Council, which maintains the lifebelts, has asked members of the public to let its staff know if any are spotted damaged or removed.
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A spokeswoman for the local authority said: “There are periodic problems at Den of Maidencraig and our staff got the lifebelt replaced, along with its tag.
“We would urge people not to vandalise or remove lifebelts as it could endanger lives.
“Anyone who sees a lifebelt which has been vandalised or is missing is asked to let us know by contacting us on 03000 200 292.”
Den of Maidencraig was affected by flooding in March 2018 and children coming home from school had to wade through water up to their knees, assisted by school staff.
The council carried out a management and wetlands project to boost flood defences.
The project was designed to help save houses and businesses in the neighbourhood and further downstream from being flooded and was completed a year ago.