Vandals stole a pair of swan eggs after breaking into a secure water treatment works and potentially putting their lives at risk.
Thieves broke into the minewater treatment scheme at the former Bates Colliery site, just off Cowpen Road in Blyth, on Sunday.
The site is run by Integrated Water Services (IWS) and members of staff were left shocked by the theft and vandalism of some of their equipment.
Intruders are believed to have climbed over the seven foot high fence before vandalising a diesel generator.
Staff also believe that one of the vandals may have got into difficulty in one of the ponds on site as they found lifesaving equipment in the water, which is full of thick sludge, and a pair of tracksuit bottoms on the pond’s edge.
But the incident which has left them most shocked, is the theft of two eggs from a pair of swans who have been nesting on the site for a number of years.
An IWS employee, who did not wish to be named, said: “The swans have been nesting their for a for a few years now and this is the second time that this has happened.
“I found a pair of tracksuit bottoms at the edge of the pond which obviously have been removed after being rescued from the pond.
“The culprits are really lucky to escape as it is extremely dangerous around the deep ponds which are full of thick sludge.
“The matter will be reported to the police and if anybody has any information as to who might be responsible for the vandalism and theft of eggs then they can contact IWS directly.”