A YOUTH group have raised over £1,000 in a bid to replace a fleet of stolen kayaks.

This comes after four red Dagger GT 7.8 kayaks, a blue Dagger Juice kayak and paddles worth £3,000 were stolen from the Romsey Sea Cadets storage unit, Southampton Road.

Now the sea cadets have pulled together approximately £1,740 from their Gofundme page and have been given funds from their insurance company to replace the kayaks in time for next year.

Zoe Bell, who works at Romey Sea Cadets, said: "We couldn't have done it without the generosity of nearby associations and businesses.

"It has been very humbling that people have donated towards our cause and we try to do good in the community, so it is evident people want to support us.

"Being sea cadets, we want to be on the water as much as we can and we needed approximately £3,000 to replace all of the equipment."

She added: "The cadets are very surprised about how much we managed to raise and they are eager to get back on the water; we are putting in an order to replace the kayaks as soon as we can.

"We are also sending letters to people, including a picture of the cadets, who have donated to thank them for their support."

When asked how the group have been coping without the stolen kayaks, Zoe said they have "managed" and every cadet has been "on the water in some ay or another".

She said: "We are still looking at ways to improve our security and the police are looking into the case to find out who stole the kayaks."

As previously reported in the Romsey Advertiser, the group were forced to pull out of the Romsey Carnival at the last minute after their equipment had been stolen between 9.30pm on July 18 and 1pm on July 21.

A spokesperson from Hampshire police said they are still "investigating" the case and are "continuing to appeal for information" from residents.

Anyone with information on the crime should contact Hampshire police on 101, quoting 44190254979.