A community group has warned that lives have been put at risk after a lifebelt was thrown into the sea by vandals.
Buchanhaven harbour lost one of its life-saving rings on Thursday night after youths were spotted playing near the mouth of the harbour.
It is thought that one of the children took the belt and pitched it into the water.
The harbour committee has now warned people will be in danger and that it will be left out of pocket by the incident unless a big-hearted benefactor comes forward.
The belts, which are meant to be used to keep a person in danger afloat while in the sea, cost about £60 each.
While the committee determines how and from where to buy a replacement, no safety equipment is available for people using the harbour. Last night, George Cameron, the committee treasurer, said people needed to learn to respect public property.
“Seemingly two young boys were down playing at the harbour and someone has seen one of them throw it into the sea,” he said.
“I went down last night to try and have a look for it, but the tide was going out – so I assume it’s halfway to Norway by now.
“These things cost about £60 and the thing is we’re the ones who are going to be left out of pocket by it.
“We’re also going to be the ones who get it from the public if someone finds themselves in trouble at the harbour.
“It’s put people’s lives at risk and people have to realise that these things aren’t put in place for kids to have fun with them.”
The committee hope to meet in the coming days to determine how to push forward with getting the device replaced.
Anyone who may be able to donate one to the harbour is asked to contact Buchanhaven harbour through Facebook.