STOLEN BOAT RECOVERED
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.
Club Marine says 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 National Marine Register 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.
Club Marine says 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.”