Friday, August 10, 2012

British Columbia, Canada: Vandals damage fire fighting plane

After The Coulson Group of Companies employees worked all night on Sunday to repair a damaged tail, the Hawaii Mars water bomber was back on fire service Monday morning. 

On Saturday night, a group of eight to 10 individuals climbed on the plane as it floated on Sproat Lake at Port Alberni, making three holes in the tail flap, causing $25,000 worth of damage. As a result, the Coulson Group had to put the plane out of commission for half a day, forfeiting half its day rate with the B.C. Forest Service, with whom the company has a contract for fighting wildfires in the province.

Coulson Group owner Wayne Coulson compared his airplane to a first response vehicle.

"You don't damage an ambulance," he said.

This is the second act of vandalism against the plane this season. In May, vandals climbed on the plane and damaged a hatch on the top of the bomber.

Coulson has decided to offer a $5,000 reward to find the vandals. "We want to find them and prosecute them to the full extent of the law," he said.

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