A fisherman and his young son have been left devastated after their handmade crab pots were stolen from the waters of the River Fal.

John Locker and three-year-old James, almost four, returned to the spot around 200 yards off St Mawes Castle to find that the two pots had disappeared.

John and James had made both pots together from scratch, as the pair enjoy fishing as a distraction from James’s chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, which he has had since he was one.

Due to his treatment, James can often not mix with other children because of his lowered immune system, so the family spends a lot of time making things or out in the open air on their boat, which they launch from Mylor.

Falmouth Packet:

John and James enjoy fishing together

Both John and James have been left upset by the theft.

Engineer John, who moved with his family from Falmouth to Truro, to be closer to the Royal Cornwall Hospital for James’s treatment, said: “James was upset; he didn’t really understand what had happened as he is still young.

“I spent a lot of time and effort in making them. They are one of a kind. If this message gets back to whoever took them from just in front of St Mawes Castle, please put them back or contact me and I’ll collect them.”

The father and son have been fishing in the same spot for the past month, checking the pots every couple of days.

The pots had a pink and blue fender on the surface, so John does not believe anyone could have got them confused.

Falmouth Packet:

John with James, wife Hannah and daughter Elizabeth on their boat

They also have around 20kg steel between them and were fixed by a 10kg weight to the buoy, which makes him “100 per cent certain” that they haven’t just drifted away.

“I honestly am not bothered who has them, or why they took them - I just want them back.

“If they don’t want me to put them there because they have their gear near there it’s fine. I’ll put them somewhere else, I just want them back,” added John.

“They are worth far more to me than anyone else.”

John can be contacted with information via his Facebook page The Fish Locker.