KVH’s Covert Alert System Ideal for Commercial Shipping as Coast Guard Begins Enforcing New Maritime and Port Safety Rules
MIDDLETOWN, RI – July 12, 2004 – In the face of threats of terrorism at sea, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) is cracking down to ensure compliance with new regulations established to reduce the risk of terrorism at sea and in U.S. ports. The new regulation, which went into effect on July 1, 2004, includes a requirement a ships security alert system (SSAS) capable of alerting authorities to hijacking, piracy, or terrorism attempts. To help ship owners and crews maximize safety and meet this requirement easily and affordably, KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI) offers the eTrac™ SSAS. This small, integrated communication system uses the Inmarsat mini-C communication system and real-time GPS position reporting to provide worldwide alert and fleet tracking capabilities and is fully compliant with USCG and International Maritime Organization (IMO) requirements. In contrast with other SSAS solutions, the eTrac SSAS is easy to install and has no monthly or other service charges.
“There is clearly a concern that large commercial vessels could become targets for hijacking by terrorists,” explained Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH’s president and chief executive officer. “The ability to alert shore-based authorities to any danger will be critical to the safety of crews, harbors, and people on shore. With its global satellite communications capability, multiple ‘panic buttons’ and integrated GPS, eTrac SSAS is ideally suited for this task.”
In a recent news release, the Coast Guard outlined its plans, including boarding every foreign-flagged vessel, for ensuring compliance with regulations and the safety of U.S. ports. Violators can be assessed fines or be forced to hire security guards while in port. The Coast Guard is also empowered to detain non-compliant vessels or turn them away from the U.S. entirely.
“We’re going to be taking a pretty hard line,” remarked Rear Adm. Larry Hereth, USCG director of port security, speaking of the enforcement program. Evidence of this hard line was available almost immediately as one foreign-flagged vessel was denied entry to the Port of Miami and four others were expelled from the same port on July 1, 2004, for non-compliance with the new security standards.
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. The rugged KVH eTrac SSAS stands less than 6" high and weighs only 2.4 lbs and can be installed easily. The fully integrated system contains a transceiver, antenna, and a 12-channel GPS receiver. The two panic buttons can be placed as far as 165 feet away to make sure an alert can easily be sounded should the need arise. Unlike other SSAS solutions, eTrac SSAS has no monthly subscription or transmission costs for emergency messages, offering an extremely low lifetime cost for vessel owners and operators.
Complete 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 Kokkedal, 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; 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.