VANDALS “put lives in danger” by pulling out life rings placed around Apex Park lakes in Highbridge.

Several of the red rings were removed from their holders earlier this week, and emergency telephone numbers printed on them were scrawled out.

Sedgemoor District Council was notified and sent out staff to investigate, but by the time they arrived, somebody had returned the rings.

However, the council has hit out at the person or persons responsible.

Spokeswoman Claire Faun said: “Sedgemoor District Council is appalled that the majority of the lifesaving equipment in Apex Park has been removed, the remaining equipment has been tampered with, and that the emergency number has been obscured.

“It is absolutely mindless vandalism and people’s lives are put in danger.

“It only takes a second for someone to become unconscious from drowning and only a couple of minutes for someone to die if they are not resuscitated.

“Having this equipment immediately near the water is paramount for everyone’s safety.”

It is not clear how long the rings were away from their holders before they were returned, but Sedgemoor District Council confirmed none of the rings were damaged.

If anybody has concerns about missing or damaged life rings, or spots an act of vandalism, they should call Sedgemoor Direct on 0845-4082540.