A YACHT club in Northern Ireland that has been targeted by thieves is taking hi-tech measures to protect boats belonging to its members by using the new SelectaDNA marine marking kit.
Following the theft of 22 outboard motors last September from Down Cruising Club in Killinchy, County Down, the club was keen to not only tighten security measures but to deter theft in the first place.
Club Commodore Geoffrey Booth, said: “The club has to have a certain amount of accessibility, as the tides dictate when members take their boats out and this often means that they set sail any time day or night.”
He continued: “We were looking for a product that would not only heighten security at the club but also deter theft of any boats that are moored here. We also wanted to protect expensive marine items such as outboard motors, propellers, lifejackets, fuel tanks, and GPS satellite units that are at high risk of theft. As a result, the club’s committee chose the SelectaDNA Marine Kit to protect members’ belongings.”
The kits contain the latest hi-tech forensic marking product called SelectaDNA, and have been specially produced by leading asset and property marking company Selectamark. They are currently being rolled out to members of Down Cruising Club, with the neighbouring Strangford Yacht Club set to mark racing yachts moored there too.
Mr Booth added: “Outboard motors can be worth around £700-£800 and new dinghies can cost between £600-700. This means that even with the theft of just those two items, you are looking at losing goods worth up to £1,500.”
SelectaDNA is an invisible marking solution which is easy to apply and virtually impossible to remove. It contains microdots, a unique DNA code and a ultra-violet marker. All items that are marked are then registered on a secure online database which can be accessed by the police.
If an item is stolen, any traces of the liquid will show up under a UV light and, because of the unique forensic code, the property can then be traced back to its rightful owner.
Signage has been put up around Down Cruising Club warning potential thieves that boats and accessories are DNA-marked.
Brian Wilton, from the Arrow Group, SelectaDNA’s distributor in Northern Ireland, said: “Just like any expensive item of property, boats and yachts are at risk from thieves. Members of the Down Cruising Club are taking the very positive step of marking their boats and possessions in order to deter theft.
“However, if a break-in does happen, police officers will be able to identify any recovered items of marine equipment using the unique DNA code. This allows stolen goods to be returned quickly to the rightful owner.”
He added: “Criminals are aware of the risks of being caught handling SelectaDNA-marked property. If they are tempted to steal, they could face arrest and conviction.
“However, we have found that if thieves know that SelectaDNA is protecting valuable items at a certain premises they will leave well-alone.”
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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