When a group of thieves stole a 34-foot Contender yacht, First Light, in the Bahamas last September, they got more than they bargained for, because on the boat was a Nav-Tracker 2.0 system from GOST Marine.
This competitively-priced device can be easily housed out of sight on a boat. If the vessel is stolen, it uses the Inmarsat IsatM2M network to alert the owner, and give him or her its precise location, complete with GPS co-ordinates, via a dedicated web portal, run in conjunction with Satamatics.
In this instance, the boat’s owner, Theodore Babbitt, sitting at home in Florida, tracked the position of the boat before calling the US Coast Guard to tell them it had been stolen, but that he knew exactly where it was.
The agency called one of its patrol boats, which headed for the location the owner had given, where they found the yacht ditched in mangroves, together with another stolen boat.
Only 12 hours after it had been stolen, thanks to Nav-Tracker 2.0 and IsatM2M, First Light was back in the hands of the authorities.
On this occasion the owner defied the odds. According to the International Association of Marine Investigators, as many as 27,000 boats are stolen annually, and the chances of recovery are only around one in 10.