THIEVES smashed their way into Newark Boat Club in Port Glasgow and then sailed off with a £10,000 vessel.

In a bizarre chain of events it is understood a digger was used to break open the gates to gain entry to the secluded boat club in Port Glasgow.

The intruders appeared to break into the clubhouse, before taking a dinghy out into the water and stealing the Elevsis from its moorings.

They then disappeared with the boat in the middle of the night.

In the morning the dinghy was found abandoned on the beach and the police were called in.

The expensive boat was later found across the water at Dunoon.

A member of the club said: "The owner was lucky to get it back.

"I think the engine might have packed in.

"Things happen from time to time but nothing quite like this."

Greenock detectives are investigating the theft of the boat.

It was stolen some time between April 5 and 6 from the club.

Detective Inspector David Wagstaff said: "The boat was recovered across the water in Toward Point, Dunoon.

"We are appealing for anyone who may have information about the theft of the boat."

Anyone with information should contact Detective Constable Stuart Young on 101.