April 16, 2004

Furuno supplies Tidewater with over 300 AIS units

Furuno USA, the largest U.S. supplier of GMDSS equipment, has been awarded a contract to supply over 300 of its FA100 Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) to New Orleans-based Tidewater Marine, Inc., the world's largest offshore service company.

Tidewater Marine and Furuno had previously worked together in 1997-98 on a GMDSS Global Retrofit Program, where more than 200 GMDSS equipment suites were installed on Tidewater vessels throughout the world.

To bring all of its vessels into compliance with new IMO Regulations, Tidewater Marine has again joined forces with Furuno--this time to retrofit its vessels with Furuno's FA100.

The FA100 is a complete AIS solution provided in a compact, single unit, which includes the IMO compliant MKD (Minimum Keyboard Display), AIS Transponder and GPS Receiver.

Unlike other models on the market that expose their transponder and sensitive electronics to the harsh environment, the FA100 is designed for simplified installations and low cost maintenance for the future.

A typical system configuration requires only the Furuno compact MKD, junction box, standard GPS antenna and an AIS-VHF antenna to complete a simple installation.

"Accompanying our highly reliable, easy-to-install, and competitively priced FA100 AIS product, is the high level of customer support, service coordination, and on-time delivery that Tidewater expected and received from Furuno during our joint GMDSS Global Retrofit Program," said Dean Kurutz, Marketing Manager for Furuno U.S.A.

Tidewater has already taken delivery of all 300+ FA100 units.

"Our FA100 is a cost-effective and easy-to-install solution for any vessel. Match this with our outstanding customer service and you have the best solution on the market to meet the new IMO Regulations for AIS. We were extremely honored to be selected by Tidewater as their supplier for AIS products. And we anticipate delivering this same solution to many other companies that are in need of meeting the new IMO Regulations," commented Kurutz.

Furuno U.S.A. is utilizing its web site as a resource for a variety of documents pertaining to AIS, including regulations, approvals and certifications. The U.S. Maritime Transportation Safety Act of 2002, and a very comprehensive AIS FAQ Document can be found on the site.