Australia’s largest provider of recreational boat insurance, Club Marine, together with Police and Australia’s leading theft deterrent system, DataDot Technology Australia, is encouraged by the early success of the National Marine Register (NMR) as it achieves first results in combating boat theft across Australia.
More than $11 million worth of boats and personal watercraft (PWCs) are stolen in Australia each year, with fishing and ski boats the most targeted. Many are sold interstate where they’re rebirthed, leaving the unsuspecting buyer without the boat or their money if and when the craft is identified as stolen and returned to the original owner or insurance company.
The heartache of this experience was recently spared a NSW man who was hoping to buy a boat but was doubtful of the integrity of the seller. After unsuccessfully trying to verify the identity of the boat, a Whittley Cruiser valued at $70,000, with Maroubra Police and NSW Maritime, he conducted an internet search and found the NMR’s website. Together with the NMR team, it was quickly established he had located a stolen boat and the claim had already been paid by Club Marine Insurance. Club Marine, together with Mark Hutchings’ Marine Area Command (law enforcement team), recovered the boat on the same day.
Launched in May 2013, the NMR is the only national database in which marine dealers, law enforcement officers, and boat/PWC owners Australia-wide can register a boat or personal watercraft (PWC).The NMR stores important identifying information such as the hull identification number (HIN), trailer identification number (VIN), boat registration number, and photographs to improve visual recognition of vessels. It’s also a register of stolen craft for anyone wanting to verify a vessel before purchase.
Club Marine CEO Simon McLean said: 'It is pleasing to see that we already have one recovery as a result of someone utilising the National Marine Register. Boat theft is an ever present issue in our community and the National Marine Register is an important initiative to prevent boat theft moving forward. Club Marine encourages all boaties to take five minutes to register their boat or PWC on the National Marine Register database - no matter where they are insured or what type of vessel they own.'
Nici Andronicus of DataDot Technology Australia says the NMR is fast becoming the first port-of-call for those in the market to buy a boat or PWC: 'The NMR facilitates communication between police services in each state, improving the identification and recovery of stolen boats and, subsequently, prosecution of thieves. It is a secure platform where boat dealers and private buyers can check against the database for reported stolen HINs, VINs and motor serial numbers to lower their risk of buying a stolen boat or PWC,' said Andronicus, adding: 'Owners and dealers are urged to have DataDots applied to all craft and trailers and register them with the NMR to help stop their valuable assets from being stolen.'
'The collaboration between Police, Club Marine and DataDot Technology has delivered the National Marine Register – a new tool to effectively combat marine theft,' said Crime Stoppers CEO Peter Price. 'The marine industry was previously vulnerable and the improved information, communication, and process of verification will recover stolen assets, just as it did last month with the recovered Whittley.'
Club Marine members can book their boat or PWC for a service with a Club Marine Platinum Partner and have their vessel fitted with the DataDot Theft Deterrent System. Not only will they achieve a higher level of protection from thieves if their boat is marked with DataDots, Club Marine will waive the theft excess, valued at up to $1000, if the vessel is stolen (conditions apply).
To find a local Club Marine Platinum Partner, go to: clubmarine.com.au.
Go to the NMR here: nationalmarineregister.com.au.
For more information about DataDot Technology, go to: datadotdna.com.au.