Boy's kayak stolen just days before Christmas
IN THE season of giving, a Bundaberg family has been left sleep deprived and broken-hearted after their son's kayak was stolen.
Richard Collins, 20, is deaf and intellectually impaired and saved all of his money to buy the $499 kayak for his birthday only to have it stolen from their camp-site along the Burnett River last week.
"He's devastated, it's the first thing that's ever been his and his alone and now it's gone," Richard's mum, Ileraine Nicholls said.
"My son is on a forensic disability order so I had to organise everything so that he could enjoy his very first family camp and use his kayak for the first time," she said.
"I've had to fight to get him clear of everything, hospitals, doctors and legal services just to have time to ourselves and get away,"
"He's been waiting since his birthday, which was November 22 and Thursday last week was the first time he got to use it.
"The first and only time he got to use was the same day it was stolen."
Ms Nicholls said they trekked all the way up and down the river, asking farmers if they had seen it, but the fishing rod left behind and tyre marks down to were the kayak was secured means someone has stolen it.
"He is now having broken sleep because he is yelling out for his kayak back,"
"On the first night of it going missing, Richard wanted to walk into Gin Gin to try and find his kayak, it took me until 2am to get him to calm down and go to sleep.
Richard said when he first got the kayak he was very excited and told everyone about it.
"He loves fishing, he wants to work on a trawler and it would be nice for him to have an opportunity to do something like that.
"He bought the kayak to go fishing and put pots in to get yabbies.
Ms Nicholls said this couldn't have come at a worse time of year for her family.
"It's already going to be a lean Christmas this year, I don't have a lot to give to my children," she said.
"I'm trying to do what I'm supposed to do, do a budget and still treat my kids."
"I have told the police and it's been reported as stolen, but if anyone can help us find it or something please do," she said.
Richard said he misses his kayak and just wants it back.
If you have seen a red and black kayak, you can contact Ms Nicholls on 0406051021.