1 T E C H N I C A L I N F O R M A T I O N EXCHANGE F O R M A R I N E P R O F E S S I O N A L S Vol. 22 No. 2 July 2006 NEWSNOTES & TRENDS Recently John Adey, ABYC technical director, along with Tom Marhevko and John McKnight from NMMA, met with the USCG to discuss whether the Coast Guard should investigate consumer problems with ethanol. As a result of the meeting, it was agreed that the Coast Guard will fund a study to look at various materials used in boat fuel systems to determine if E10 effects long and short term durability. Bob White, from IMANA Labs was asked to put together a proposal to determine how testing should be performed. After being in the same location for years in a nondescript building miles from the water, the ABYC is moving. According to Skip Burdon, president of ABYC, their original location on Long Island Sound was along the waterfront as it should be for an organization that writes standards for recreational boats. The new location in Eastport, Maryland is only a few miles from the old one, but being back on the waterfront makes it a world away, he says. Nearby are the offices of Weems and Plath, Spinsheet magazine, and a host of maritime attorneys, insurance companies and other related businesses. The new building, which has more space for the ABYC to stretch out a bit and expand their conference areas and library, even includes the rented offices of Farr Yacht Design. Skip says their new building on the water will restore the connection ABYC had with the maritime community and will bring back some of the prestige that a waterfront address gives. Property values had risen so much where the current building was situated, according to Skip, that the difference in price for the new building, coupled with an income stream Continued on page 11 A Case of Liability By Jonathan Klopman, NAMS-CMS And David J. Farrell, Jr., Admiralty Attorney October 19, :30AM: By the time the fire trucks arrived the two yachts were engulfed in a single rolling plume of flame. At daybreak, the charred hulks of both boats had slipped beneath the water and left only a boomed-off oil slick and two charred finger piers as a reminder of the inferno only hours before. The fire was started and completely extinguished in only an hour or two. But the fire itself was only the beginning; nobody had any idea that this was the start of a six-year legal battle that ended in a final showdown in federal court. v Best to begin with the origin and cause. In this case, most of the investigators homed in on the Just Because, a 47 Jersey sport fisherman that was docked just upwind of the vessel we represented, a 43 Viking Princess named Star Skipper. There was heavy, low burning in the vicinity of the shore power cord inlets on the starboard side of the cockpit. This also proved to be the upwind side of the boat. Everyone on scene surmised that the logical cause must have been a poor connection where the cords plugged into the inlet. At this point, the investigation seemed fairly humdrum. The trick was, could This told us that one of the inlet/cord plug connections had been completely consumed, while the other only had melted and fallen to the deck. Hold that thought. we prove it? More specifically, could we prove that the owner of the Just Because knew there was a problem with the shore power cords and failed to act responsibly to prevent the fire? We had a perfectly common cause of the fire, yet had the burden to prove foreknowledge and negligence on the part of the owner. The team assembled to represent the Star Skipper included marine surveyor Jonathan Klopman, admiralty attorney David Farrell, fire investigator and private detective Arthur Joseph Murphy, and electrical expert Robert Loeser. Farrell made it clear that we would have an uphill battle trying to find enough evidence to build a case that the owner had privity or knowledge that a hazard existed before the fire. The immediate problem was finding the direct physical evidence to support our theory of origin and cause. The cockpit of the Just Because was razed. All we were able to find of the shore power cords were some loose male and female connectors and a lump of plastic welded to the cockpit sole. Upon closer inspection, the baked potato of plastic turned out to be the end of one cord and the Continued on page 4
2 ON WATCH Stay Alert to Possible Hazards on Boats and Equipment The information from the Technical Input cards you submit is collated, reviewed, and published in the On Watch column. If one of your surveys supports a previous On Watch report, make sure that you also report it. Conversely, if your survey fails to substantiate a previous On Watch report, send your observations to the Exchange. This will help readers determine whether the alleged defect is an isolated incident or a widespread problem. The Exchange will follow up with any subsequent reports. ALBIN MARINE, EXPRESS TRAWLER, 36, Shock/electrocution hazard. Vessel manufacturer failed to properly ground the Northern Lights generator. Neutral and ground were not connected together at the generator and an AC fault would result in a 120VAC potential on all grounded metal on the vessel. The problem is related to Northern Lights installation instructions, which specify not tying the neutral and ground together. ABYC E states: The generator neutral shall be grounded at the generator. Craig Smith director of marketing for Albin said that Albin builds to ABYC standards, therefore the generator must have been installed by a dealer. When asked if he was aware that dealers were installing generators contrary to ABYC, he stated that he was not a watchdog for dealers and once a product left the manufacturing facility it was out of his hands. He said that Albin has no network to check on the way dealers install equipment. When the Exchange asked if they were concerned that possibly many generators were being installed contrary to ABYC, he changed his mind and stated that the issue needs to be addressed. He suggested the Exchange send the information to him and Ed Winarski, at Albin customer service so the issue could be brought up at the next production meeting. When asked if the Albin factory installed Northern Lights generators, he said that their current vendor was Onan and different vendors were used depending on price and other factors. When asked how Albin installs equipment where the manufacturer s installations instruction are contrary to ABYC, as in this case, he said that ABYC trumps the manufacturer s guidelines and that Albin always follows ABYC standards. BLUEWATER YACHTS, COASTAL CRUISER, late 80 s to early 90 s (Follow-up report). The Exchange published an On Watch in September 2003 regarding rot and deterioration in engine beds and stringers on these vessels. Removal of engine beds on two units found that the wood core did not touch the bottom structure and left a channel for water to accumulate. The FRP covering was thin and not suitable as a structure without good wood core material. A spokesperson for the company, Kathy Swartz, said boats produced before 2002 were made by a different company and they had only received two complaints of rot in stringers. Several surveyors recently commented on similar damage: One surveyor told the Exchange that he has surveyed five Bluewater vessels and can confirm that the stringers are often rotten. Out of the five boats, three had one or more rotten stringers; one had three. Another boat had a very wet deck that flexed dangerously due to a rotted core. Another surveyor found a rotten engine bed stringer in a Coastal Cruiser. Yet another knows of at least a dozen boats with extreme engine bed and stringer rot. Three of the vessels had to have repairs ranging in cost from $12,000 to $15,000. Finally, a fourth surveyor found stringer and frame rot in a 51 model. In this case the yard poured polyurethane into the stringers after the top fiberglass had been cut out and the rotten wood removed. The top of the stringers were then reglassed. The repair cost $40,000. BOMBARDIER RECREATIONAL PROD- UCTS/EVENRUDE, 40- T0 90-HP OUT- BOARD MOTORS, Tiller kits installed on the referenced models may not have been properly assembled at the factory. The inner steering handle may not be seated and the retaining screw may not be installed correctly. This can cause the throttle twist to come loose or pull out of the tiller arm assembly, which can cause loss of throttle and steering control. The affected kits are part number and for 40, 50, and 60 hp engines, and and for 65 (jet), 75, and 90-hp models. All of the kits are blue in color. Bombardier is conducting a voluntary recall and, according to Bombardier, repairs will be made at authorized dealers. Call for more information. LUHRS, 28 OPEN, 28, Poor location of bilge pump through-hull could lead to sinking. There is no vented loop to prevent back siphoning. Luhrs issued a letter to owners warning that an anti-siphon break device must be installed immediately if this configuration (shown in the photo above) was used. Luhrs also issued a service bulletin (#06-28Open-01) to their dealers; affected boats have HINS from #101 to 170. Luhrs will pay for the repair at the nearest Luhrs facility and will make Continued on page 3 EXCHANGE Vol. 22 No. 2 July 2006 Publisher William M. Oakerson Editor Robert A. Adriance, Jr. Associate Editor Chuck Fort Graphic Artist Nancy K. Roberts Circulation Lauren Foster/Nelo Karimi 2006 EXCHANGE Material printed here represents the observations, opinions, and theories of marine professionals and is published in this trade report for review by other marine professionals only. It is not a defect notice and does not express the opinion of the publisher. The accuracy of the information is not warranted by the publisher or its subscribers. Reprinting or publication of any information appearing in Exchange is prohibited without the express written consent of the publisher. Contact Exchange, 880 South Pickett St., Alexandria, VA Call (703)
3 Bottom Paint Halos It is that time of year when we start to get phone calls regarding halos around through hulls and other metal objects on the bottoms of vessels. The halos are usually a discoloration/degradation of cuprous oxide (copper) bottom paint. The calls come from all facets of the boating community: surveyors, yard personnel, boat owners, and insurance companies. The callers typically believe the halos are a result of serious electrolysis activity, which is not true. There is no such thing as electrolysis, as the term is applied to vessels. What people usually mean is electrolytic or stray current corrosion. While stray current electricity from a direct current producing device or system can cause halos and severe corrosion, it is not the usual cause of the halos. Cuprous oxide paint is generally recognized as non-conductive, in contrast to the old copper particle paint; however, under some circumstances, it is conductive and will permit electrons to flow into the paint coating. When the electrons flow into the bottom paint coating, the electrons are attempting to cathodically protect the copper in the paint. When this simple process occurs, it scares the hell out of the boat owner. The halos can range from a couple of inches to up to a couple of feet in diameter. The effects of the electrons flowing into the bottom paints can vary greatly. In some cases, the paint is simply discolored in random patterns. In others, the paints have turned slimy around the metal objects. This problem was so severe with one brand of paint that the manufacturer pulled it off the market. Where are the electrons coming from? Why are some boats affected while others are not, even though they used the same paint? First, the problem has nothing to do with the paint itself. The anodes on a vessel zinc, aluminum or magnesium in addition to Impressed Current Cathodic Protection (ICCP) Systems, such as the Mercathode Systems found on Mercury stern drives, are the source of the electrons. The anodes and ICCP Systems are formulated and designed to provide electrons. It is the supply of electrons that provides the Cathodic Protection for underwater metal components. Please keep in mind that the halo problem came to light with the introduction of low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) type of cuprous oxide paints. Most paint manufacturers will tell you that the cuprous oxide bottom paints will only withstand a cathodic protection voltage of about volts DC. Zinc is volts DC. Aluminum is -1.1 volt DC. The Mercury ICCP Systems have a designed output voltage of -1.0 volts DC that is necessary to cathodically protect the aluminum stern drives. If the bottom paint is applied directly to underwater metal, there is a very good chance that halos will occur because the conductive path to the metal has not been eliminated. Darker bottom paints are more likely to create halos because red and black paints contain a great deal more carbon. Carbon is conductive. Combine the carbon with the cuprous oxide and you have a much greater chance of electrons flowing into the paint coating and destroying it. The simple solution to the halo problem is to remove all of the paint from underwater metals. Properly prepare and prime the metals and then apply about three coats of epoxy paint. If done properly, you will not experience halos, no matter what color paint is used. Paul Fleury Marine Services Ft. Washington, Maryland ON WATCH, from page 2 arrangements to have the installation done elsewhere if necessary. MAVERICK BOAT COMPANY, HEWES REDFISHER, 16, Fuel gauge inaccurate to the point of being useless and shows full when nearly half empty. Owner is concerned because the inaccuracy may leave him stranded in remote locations. Owner also says that other Hewes owners report the same thing on the Hewes forum. Skip Lyshon, a representative for Maverick Boat Company said that it s the nature of the beast. He said that customers want the largest tank possible and the only place that will fit a large tank (30 gallons) is between the stringers. The tank is long and narrow, he said, which means the gauge will read full for a long period of time. He went on to say that all boaters will tell you there is no such thing as an accurate marine fuel gauge. He recommended that people who use their boats in remote areas should make it a common practice to top off the tank before every trip. Another option, he said is to install a fuel flow meter such as the Navman Maverick will not pay for such a device. MONTEREY BOATS, 350 SPORT YACHT, 35, GFI-protected 120 VAC outlet is not ignition protected though the back of the outlet is exposed to the gasoline engine and fuel tank compartment. There is a possibility of igniting explosive vapors. The USCG issued a recall (# 05R0814S) for this vessel model. According to the manufacturer, approximately 30 of these boats were built with non-ignition protected GFI s. Montery will replace the receptacle at its expense.
4 LIABILITY, from page 1 inlet melted together. This told us that one of the inlet/cord plug connections had been completely consumed, while the other only had melted and fallen to the deck. Hold that thought. Just Because was wired for two 30-amp lines that fed into a Y connector to 50-amp shore service. Both cords were brand new; the Y connector was older. When inspecting the connections where the cords plugged into the Y, one of the cord/y connections had matching burn marks on the black, or hot lead. This didn t tell us much, as the overheating damage could have occurred after the fire began. However, the second set of connections revealed burn marks on the hot and neutral connections of the Y with no corresponding burn marks on the cord. The first set of connections confirmed that both sides of the cord/connection set must show signs of melting if the contacts heat up. Therefore, the Y connector essentially served as a record of prior overheating. This explained why the cords had been replaced recently. We suspected that the owner had noted burn marks at the cords and so replaced them, yet he failed to replace the Y connector and the inlets. When asked, the owner said that he had replaced the cords only for cosmetic reasons. It was this cagey response that told us both that our hunches were right and that now he was on to us. And we were definitely on to him. When asked, the owner said that he had replaced the cords only for cosmetic reasons. It was this cagey response that told us both that our hunches were right and that now he was on to us. And we were definitely on to him. Bob Loeser had spent decades poring over electrical systems for signs of potential problems. He was able to confirm that the loaded leg of the shore power cords would have had no problems so long as the contacts were in good shape. However, poor surface contacts and the resultant resistance could lead to signifi- cant overheating, but not enough to trip the 50-amp main breaker on the dock pedestal. Despite our increasing confidence that we had a solid case, fire investigator Murphy warned that our job wasn t done until we ruled out all other possible causes for the fire. As it turned out, Murphy s insistence on meticulously sifting through the debris to record and rule out every potential source of fire was instrumental in fending off a counterattack that the fire actually started on the Star Skipper. Skipping ahead several years to when we finally presented our case in court, David Farrell was able to show that his questioning of the owner during deposition revealed that he had not used the plastic locking rings on the shore power cords to screw them securely to the inlet. Further probing revealed that the owner, while an experienced boater and director of a large electrical contracting firm, was relatively cavalier about how he dealt with his power cords. Although he granted that the new cordsets came with warnings and instruction booklets, he couldn t remember reading them. It s hard to fathom how such a capable, successful person could overlook such obvious problems. You wouldn t use Continued on page 10 Proving the Case in Court By David J. Farrell, Jr. Owners of Just Because initiated a lawsuit to avoid blame, arguing that the fire started on their friends Star Skipper, or alternatively, if it did start on Just Because, under federal law their liability should be limited to the zero dollar value of Just Because after the fire since they did nothing negligent to cause it. In re Rhoten, 397 F.Supp.2d 151 (D. Mass. 2005). In order to prevail in the case, we had to prove three things. First, which boat did the fire originate on? If the fire originated on Star Skipper, the owners of Just Because could obviously not be held liable. Out of eight eyewitnesses who testified at trial, only one thought the fire started on Star Skipper. That witness initially provided contradictory observations to the fire department and turned out to be a friend of the Rhotens and was thus discredited. All of the fire experts, with one exception, agreed that the fire started at the shore power connection on Just Because. The sole exception wasn t hired to look at the boats until two years after the fire. He acknowledged on crossexamination that the debris was pretty much disheveled. That expert s co-worker even admitted that the fire started on Just Because. The judge agreed. Second, did the owners of Just Because have prior knowledge of the condition (shore power cord) that started the fire? The judge sifted through the forensic evidence and concluded the owners closed their eyes to obvious problems with their shore power cords. Just Because had frequently tripped the dockside circuit breaker over the last two seasons, yet the owners ignored this warning; retired cords stored on board Just Because had burn marks at both the inlet and shore ends; and the remains of the inlet/cord connection where the fire started showed pre-existing overheating damage. Third, we had to prove that the lost evidence was important. All the experts, including the owners, wanted to dissect that evidence to look at the electrical contacts and determine if a locking ring was in use. The judge found it highly questionable that the owners lost the remains of one of their two inlet/cord connections immediately after their depositions. Losing evidence, together with their unconvincing demeanor at trial on cross examination proved to the judge that the owners did not use locking rings at the inlets and if they had followed the manufacturer s instructions the fire would not have started.
5 The International Association of Marine Investigators I A M I N E W S N E W S L E T T E R A Message from the President Dear Fellow Members: As we close the second quarter of 2006, I want to commend IAMI members for their continued dedication to our organization and its mission. With some quarterly organizational reports, I ve noticed that the emphasis is on the achievements of individuals. The key to success at IAMI, however, has always been participation. As I have said many times, fighting marine theft and fraud requires sharing ideas and information. It involves many individuals working together. IAMI s theme for 2006 is to get involved. IAMI s membership is growing. IAMI s influence in the marine community is expanding. And while there have been stumbling blocks, managing and negotiating stumbling blocks is how human progress is measured. IAMI is not the Board of the Directors nor is it the regional coordinators or any individual member. It is a network of members working together to put the bad guys out of business. Your most valuable contribution to IAMI is to become involved in shaping its future. I urge each of you to contact me so that IAMI can begin using your ideas and talents more effectively. Also this year: IAMI has been working to improve our service to members by streamlining our administrative procedures. You will soon experience one of the improvements when you renew your membership; a new member database program and member ID card system has been implemented. This new system is a multi-functional system that can be used not only for tracking membership but also during annual conferences, outreach training seminars, and the Certified Marine Investigator program. IAMI and several other organizations including NASBLA are continuing to fight for the implementation of a 17-character HIN by the US Coast Guard. IAMI Committee Chairman and Past President Pat Rowland has been working with other IAMI members, including the Past President of NASBLA, Fred Messmann, to lead the charge in seeing this issue become a reality. Recently the USCG has requested another cost-benefit study before they will consider a format change. This is where we need your help! The committee needs assistance in collecting and compiling statistical data to support the needed format change. Please contact Pat Rowland or Fred Messmann if you can help. Let s not give up the fight to see a 17-character format become reality and remember these words by Sir Winston Churchill; Sure I am this day we are masters of our fate that the task which has been set before us is not above our strength; that its pangs and toils are not beyond our endurance. As long as we have faith in our own cause and an unconquerable will to win, victory will not be denied us. Have a safe summer! Sincerely, Sam I. Bean, CMI-1, President
6 News from the Directors From Mike Smith, 1st VP: The confidential hull identification number (HIN) is about to become a reality. Donna Conick with National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has been working diligently to get the system automated. By the time this goes to print over 100 confidential HIN s will be in the database and available to law enforcement. This project has been a personal priority of mine as well as one of IAMI s goals. This will make it much easier for an investigator to jump on NICB s website and find the information they need. If you have confidential HIN locations, please send them to Donna at The confidential HIN number database is for your use; please make an effort to contribute. I have also been busy with the 2007 annual conference. Yes, it is already time to start planning the next one. Your Board of Directors is working to bring you the best training we can offer both at the annual conference as well as at regional meetings around the world. Ronnie Rowland has been doing a great job since taking over the IAMI Headquarters duties. I have had several comments that membership packets and information has been getting out in a timely manner. When problems are experienced, she corrects them quickly. Good job Ronnie. I have been pleased with the new Board of Directors who have had the attitude What can I do? It has been easy getting projects completed when so many people want to help. Thanks to all of the members who have been working hard for IAMI. From Captain Ronald Morris: There are several different issues that we are dealing with in Louisiana since the 2005 hurricane season. First, we again introduced a title bill in our state legislature that died without becoming law. It would be a great tool, since we have to deal with 25,000 to 50,000 boats due that were displaced last year by Rita and Katrina. I think lawmakers were looking at it as a tax and not a proof of ownership. This isn t the end, however. I am sure we will try again and maybe next time we can get it passed Second, we had to re-bid our state contract to deal with the displaced boats; the contractor who won the original contract was unable to secure the correct bond. The winning bid has been finalized and we should be able to begin picking up boats, trailers and cars within a few weeks. The third issue is boats and trailers leaving our state. NASBLA published an advisory to be aware of used boats from the hurricane states. Boats are being sold without paperwork or with incorrect paperwork through online auctions and it will be a nightmare for the new owner (victims) to obtain proof of ownership. Most of these boats have been damaged, which is not always made clear at the auctions. The National Information Crime Bureau (NICB) has set up a database for owners to check the history of any vessel they may purchase that might have been affected by these hurricanes. They can do this by searching the NICB website, and entering the boat s hull identification number. Note that all vessels scrapped for salvage are included in the database. It is, however, a tool that can reduce fraud. (If a boat deal is too good to be true, it usually is.) Are we ready for this year s fifth season? (On the gulf coast we have five seasons: fall, winter, spring, summer and hurricane season) I think so; we have been meeting and planning with all of our state and federal agencies to work on all of the problems we had last year. I know a lot of you are wondering about my personal hurricane plan for my family. We keep enough food and bottled water to last for three days. I d like to put these supplies in our car, drive to Nebraska and stay until Halloween. Unfortunately, like most coastal residents, we will be staying here. From Eric Lundin, Training Committee: Congratulations to all IAMI members who have become involved with the association as new regional and state coordinators/ assistant coordinators. Thanks especially to Bill Dobson for leading the charge! Y all have been busy thinking about training in your various areas here in the U.S. and around the world. And as a result we are looking at probable training opportunity in the Illinois/Michigan area. (Thank you, Ken Fligelman and the new state coordinators!) As I write this, the Southern Region Seminar is about to get underway in Shreveport, Louisiana, thanks to the dedication of instructors Bill Dobson, Jimmy Laird, Ron Morris, Earl Joyner and Jerry Simon; further potential training opportunities for 2006 are being considered in Connecticut, Virginia, and New Mexico! If you are interested in attending, assisting, or setting up your own training seminars, please contact your State/Regional Coordinators, Bill Dobson, or me (860) ). IAMI also continues to train more individuals around the world, most recently in Sweden. The USCG MPOC classes in South Carolina, and at the Boating and Water Safety Summit in Florida. Don t forget to send your training information (subjects taught, what group, where and when) to me for the Annual Report. And, we re continuing to plan for the 2007 Annual Seminar in Florida. Send me, or any board member, your requests for topics to be taught From Capt. William C. Tallman, Jr. CMI Resolution And By-Laws Committee: If any member has changes that need to be addressed in the By-Laws, please submit them to me for presentation at the mid-year meeting. Also, it is not too early to submit your resolutions for the 2007 conference in Panama City, Florida. I can be Continued on next page 6
7 News from the Directors (Continued) contacted at WCT Maritime Service, , fax , or From Bill Dobson, CMI, Regional Coordinator Chairman, U.S. & Caribbean, and Membership Committee: Our goal for is to have two state coordinators, one from law enforcement and the other from the private sector, to serve their home state. Larger states such as Florida, Texas and California, may require more than two. These are important positions and, thus far, I am happy to report that 78 IAMI members have offered their services. We still have holes to fill in 12 states and I would like to hear (via at amtus.com) from anyone who is interested in stepping forward. Some of the responsibilities of the position are to serve as a liaison between membership and IAMI headquarters, and give quarterly reports to the regional coordinator on your state s membership recruitment and training classes. These reports will be passed along to the chairperson. Another goal is to have every member sign on to the new IAMI website This is a great way to disseminate information on issues affecting IAMI. Please check it out; increased participation benefits you and is important for IAMI s continued growth. The newly redesigned regions of the U.S. should be posted on the website in the near future. The assignments of the regional coordinators and state directors have been made to fit the new regions. The South Central Regional training and CMI testing is ongoing, most recently in Shreveport, Louisiana this past June. Regional training is one of the greatest benefits of IAMI, so if you or your colleagues are interested in some CEU s and a certificate, I suggest you get involved NOW by setting up a regional training seminar. Please contact me, Eric Lundin, or any member of the Board of Directors and we will be happy to assist in bring training to your area. From Martin Aberg, International Committee: The Swedish Insurance Investigation Unit, Larmtjanst, boat theft register has been active since We have over 35,000 stolen objects, most of which were stolen in Scandinavia, in our database. By midsummer this year we will be connected with our colleagues in Norway and the Netherlands. The Norwegian Bank and Insurance Federation, FNH, will start registering all boats stolen in Norway with a value over $20,000. Boats and marine engines with a lower value will be registered by the Norwegian marine police in our database. The VbV, Insurance Bureau Vehicle Crime will start registering all stolen boats in the Netherlands. Both FNH and VbV get information from the insurance industry in their respective countries as well as from the police. Larmtjanst database will then cover boat theft in three countries in Europe. Larmtjänst also receive information about stolen boats from the Police in Denmark, the marine police and marine claim service and Germany, and C Claims in Great Britain. The database is available for all law enforcement units and all insurance companies, marine surveyors and others professionals who combat marine crime in Europe. To access the database, you must first apply for a password. Enter Larmtjanst homepage (www.larmtjanst.se) and in the left lower corner you find where to apply for access. Only Larmtjanst, FNH, Norwegian Marine Police and VbV will be able to register and change data in the database and they are also responsible for the information they have registered. The database informs you who are responsible for certain information. All others with access can only search for information. Law enforcement units in Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Denmark and Germany are already using this database for information. Perhaps IAMI should have a similar database in a closed area just for members on the IAMIMarine.org homepage. We all are looking for stolen boats world wide, and it would be a good idea to have a database available for all of us. Now Larmtjanst already has this kind of register so we do not have to reinvent the wheel. If there is anybody interested in getting access to search in the database, please send me an larmtjanst.se). Also, if there are any IAMI members who would like to register their stolen boats, please let me know. We would then have to discuss it with our owners, FNH and VbV. From Timo Kovanen, Turku police force in Finland: I have known Martin Åberg for six years and we have worked together on a few stolen boat cases. We have also exchanged information on marine crime in Sweden and Finland. In spring of 2005 Martin and his colleagues visited the Police Department of Turku. During the visit they had a training session about HIN numbers and other marine theft basics. Martin told me about IAMI and its aims. As a police officer, I became interested and a couple weeks later got an invitation to an IAMI Europe seminar in Germany (Villingen-Schwenningen). During this seminar I made some contacts with other police officers who have proven to be helpful in my daily work. I decided to join IAMI Europe. This year I took part in the 16th annual training seminar in Virginia Beach. During the seminar, I promised Martin that I would hold some training sessions in Finland. The marine crime of today isn t just local anymore but has become widely spread across country borders all over the world. I believe this organisation can do a lot to help the fight against organized crime. But to make progress we have to be active and get involved. 7