McMurdo reminds operators of March 1 AIS deadline

(LANHAM, Md.) — McMurdo, a global provider of emergency readiness and response equipment, today issued a reminder that March 1 is the deadline for impacted vessel operators to comply with the requirements of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) automatic identification system (AIS) mandate.

The USCG mandate requires that certain categories of commercial vessels, such as fishing boats, tugs, and ferries operating in U.S. territorial waters install a USCG-certified AIS transceiver. Some categories of vessels are required to install a Class A type transceiver and others an AIS Class B type device. Failure to have a properly installed AIS by March 1 could result in a fine of as much as $25,000.

Compliance information is available at the McMurdo USCG AIS Mandate Resource Center. The resource center features frequently asked questions and answers about the mandate, information about McMurdo compliant products, special offers and a McMurdo AIS dealer locator.

Justine Heeley, head of McMurdo’s marine business, headlined a presentation on the U.S. Coast Guard’s AIS mandate at the International WorkBoat Show in New Orleans in December.

“It’s important to recognize that a wide range of commercial vessels will soon be required to have properly installed AIS,” Heeley advised show attendees. “Impacted vessels include dredgers operating near commercial channels, vessels transporting dangerous cargo, towboats 26 feet or longer and more than 600 hp, vessels certified to carry 150 or more passengers and also commercial fishing boats 65 feet or longer."

The following McMurdo devices are available from McMurdo dealers to help vessel operators comply with the new rule. A fleet pricing upgrade package is also available:

SmartFind M5 AIS Class A transponder

Provides automated AIS communications from "'ship to ship" and "ship to shore," transmitting and receiving vessel, voyage and safety-related information. Features AIS MOB SART alarm to aid in man-overboard recovery.

SmartFind M10 and M15 AIS

Integrating with a wide range of navigation systems, dedicated chart plotters and PC/Mac software, the SmartFind AIS electronics range brings important safety advantages of AIS to a wider range of vessels than ever.

For more information about McMurdo SmartFind AIS electronics and other McMurdo search-and-rescue products, visit

By Professional Mariner Staff