MIDDLETOWN, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 12, 2004--In the face of a dangerous situation, yacht owners don't always have time to send a message or even reach the radio. Now, thanks to the eTrac(TM) Ship Security Alert System (SSAS) from KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI), a call for help can be sent with simply the push of a button. The small, integrated eTrac SSAS uses the Inmarsat mini-C communication system and real-time GPS position reporting to provide alert messaging capabilities aboard vessels worldwide. Initially developed to help commercial vessel owners and crews maximize their safety and meet strict new International Maritime Organization (IMO) and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) regulations, the eTrac SSAS also serves as an excellent resource for passengers and crews of private yachts, enabling them to send instant alerts in response to danger, such as terrorism, piracy, or vessel distress.
"Sadly, the danger of hijacking by international terrorists or boarding by pirates is not limited to large commercial ships," explained Ian Palmer, KVH's vice president of satellite sales. "The ability to alert shore-based authorities instantly to any danger is critical to the safety of crews, passengers, harbors, and people on shore. With its global satellite communications capability, multiple 'panic buttons' and integrated GPS, the KVH eTrac SSAS is well-suited for this task."
The eTrac SSAS is very easy to use - just press one of the two panic buttons to instantly send an alert containing such information as vessel identification, time, and precise location to both the Maritime Rescue Coordinator Center and a second shore-based recipient selected by the vessel operator. The rugged KVH eTrac SSAS stands less than 6" high and weighs only 2.4 lbs and can be installed easily. The eTrac SSAS antenna is a fully integrated system, containing a transceiver, antenna, and a 12-channel GPS receiver. The two panic buttons can be placed as far as 165 feet away from an interconnection box to make sure an alert can easily be sounded should the need arise. With no monthly subscriptions or transmission costs for emergency messages, eTrac SSAS offers an extremely low lifetime cost.
In the commercial shipping arena, the eTrac SSAS is fully compliant with the new regulations - IMO Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Resolution XI-2/6 and USCG Regulation 2003-14749 - that require every vessel 500 gross tons or larger that seeks to enter a U.S. port after July 1, 2004, to be equipped with the means to send an instant distress and alert signal in response to an act or terrorism, hijacking, or piracy. Commercial vessels failing to meet this requirement will be denied entry to U.S ports of call, raising the specter of a disruption in international shipping to and from the United States.
Additional information about the eTrac SSAS and KVH's complete line of satellite communication systems is available at http://www.tracphone.com.
KVH Industries, Inc., designs and manufactures products that enable mobile communication, navigation, and precision pointing through the use of its proprietary mobile satellite antenna and fiber optic technologies. The company is developing next-generation systems with greater precision, durability, and versatility for communications, navigation, and industrial applications. An ISO 9001-certified company, KVH has headquarters in Middletown, Rhode Island, with a fiber optic and military navigation product manufacturing facility in Tinley Park, Illinois, and a European sales, marketing, and support office in Hoersholm, Denmark.
This release may contain certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements address, for example, the functionality, characteristics, quality and performance of KVH's products and technology; changing regulatory requirements, price competition, competitive product introductions, and customer preferences, requirements and expectations. The actual results could differ. Factors that may cause such differences include, among others, those discussed in KVH's most recent Form 10-Q filed with the SEC. KVH assumes no obligation to update its forward-looking statements to reflect new information or developments.