PERPLEXED police in Staithes are investigating two boat thefts after one quickly sank and the other was found floating unattended in the harbour.
In a mystery similar to those reported in the so-called Bermuda Triangle, where people and vehicles reportedly vanish without trace, police and the lifeboat discovered nobody aboard either vessel and no trace of any thieves.
The thefts are believed to have occurred around the same time between 8pm on Saturday and 4.30am on Sunday.
Staithes and Runswick Bay lifeboat’s Sean Baxter said: “We launched because a boat was spotted semi-submerged behind the North Pier.
“The lifeboat was called to investigate but there was no-one in the water.
“The other one, the Little Pal, is back on its mooring after being found floating in the harbour.”
The sinking vessel washed up on the beach and was then taken out to sea by the tide, where it has subsequently completely sunk.
It is believed the thieves may have got into difficulty and so an accomplice stole the other vessel to rescue his co-conspirators.
How they then left the second vessel remains a mystery.
A spokesperson for the Coastguard added: “We worried that whoever had stolen it might have got into trouble.
“The lifeboat did a quick confirmation check and there was no indication that anybody had been on board when it sank.”
Anyone with any information is urged to contact Whitby Police on 0845 60 60 247 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.