THE community has come to the aid of a lifesaver whose bike was stolen while he was answering an emergency call.

People have stepped forward to help RNLI crewman Alastair Heane after he was left without transport following the theft.

Alastair Heane said he was overwhelmed by the support shown to him by the community since his story featured in the Echo.

He was one of the Weymouth lifeboat crewmen called out to search for a man who jumped into Weymouth Harbour to evade police earlier this week.

While he was out, a thief stole his mountain bike which he had left by the entrance to the lifeboat station on Nothe Parade.

Mr Heane, 47, is from Falmouth in Cornwall but is currently in Weymouth working as relief mechanic for the RNLI.

The bike was his main form of transport to quickly get from his house to the lifeboat station.

Two kind donors read about his story and offered bikes to help out.

Tom Knight gave the Weymouth station a second-hand bike for crewmen to use and Ricol Leisure on the Granby Industrial Estate have offered to give Mr Heane a bike to the value of the one that was stolen. Mr Heave said he was stunned when he found out about the kind offers.

He said: “I was dumb-struck.

“It’s not very often I’m stuck for words but I was there.

“It was something I wasn’t expecting at all. It came out of nowhere.

“I’m still kind of taking it all in now. It just shows there are some good souls out there.”

He added: “I’m overwhelmed – it’s a massive gesture.”

Mr Heane thanked the cycle store and Mr Knight for their kindness.

Mr Knight said the RNLI did great work and thought the bike theft was ‘despicable’.

He said he wanted to help out.

Richard Jenkins, director of Ricol Leisure, said his wife Carol spotted the story and they wanted to give back.

He said: “Ricol Leisure is a manufacturer of fishing lures and tackle and as such we are indebted to these RNLI volunteers for risking their lives to save, among others, our local fishermen.

“Ricol Leisure has just acquired Ricol Cycles and felt that we were in a good position to help Mr Heane with a new bike.”

Dorset Police said no arrests have been made in the search for Mr Heane’s bike, and the bike itself has not been recovered.