NewsCrime Desk

Teens hijack yacht from Dun Laoghaire and lead garda helicopter on chase

Teens hijack yacht from Dun Laoghaire and lead garda helicopter on chase

Three teens have been arrested after they took a 40ft luxury yacht for a joyride, leading the garda air support units on a chase down the east coast.

The youths took the vessel from Dun Laoghaire Harbour shortly after 5:30am on Sunday morning.

Two boys and a girl, all aged between 16 and 18, made their way down as far as Wexford before turning around and travelling back up the coast.

The owners of the vessel notified gardaí, marinas and boat clubs in the area when they noticed the boat was missing.

The garda helicopter was scrambled and reports indicate that the teens engaged in a dangerous game of cat and mouse with the chopper for half an hour as they skimmed passed other boats at speed.

They were spotted shortly after 1.30pm near Greystones Marina where sources say they were operating the "incredibly powerful boat in a very reckless manner".

"It is hard to stress how powerful this kind of boat is, especially in inexperienced hands," said a source.

"But as fast as it is, after about half an hour they realised they were beaten by the chopper and started making plans for their escape."

The sea-faring thieves then attempted to beach the boat several times before they finally ran aground near South Beach in Greystones shortly after 3pm.

Two of the suspects took off on foot through fields.

However, gardaí on the ground, guided by the air support unit, tracked them down a short time later.

All three were taken to Bray garda station.

Two have since been released. An 18-year-old man remains in custody in Bray station.