PRANKSTERS who launched a giant swan pedalo out to sea were forced to haul their stolen vessel back to its home after they drifted past police.
The two local men, aged 26 and 23, set a course for France in one of the iconic swan boats, stolen from the Flamingo Park lake, at around 8am on Sunday (August 21).
Their voyage ended after police found the missing boat on CCTV being pedalled out to sea beyond the crazy golf courses. Officers eventually persuaded the two men, and a passenger who was not involved in the theft, to pedal for the shore.
The pedalo owner settled for his swan being returned to its herd and a grovelling apology from the shamefaced sailors.
An onlooker who asked to remain anonymous said: “The police made the three of them carry the swan boat up the shingle bank, along the path behind the golf courses and back to the boating lake.
“The three youths were quickly exhausted but the various policemen and one police woman just stood close by with their arms folded.”
Once past the golf courses, at around 9.10am, help arrived in the form of a forklift truck driven by a Flamingo employee.
Sergeant Pete Allan, of Hastings Police, said: “If a victim wants us to continue with a prosecution then we will, but if they feel that a community resolution will be more effective then we can also look to facilitate this.
“In this case the victim agreed to the resolution which resulted in the speedy return of the undamaged pedalo.”
Pedalo owners Flamingo Park did not respond to request for comment.