Victory in Vessel Safety with new U.S. Coast Guard AIS Mandate!

On March 2nd, 2015, the U.S. Coast Guard passed a progressive mandate that requires certain categories of commercial vessels, such as fishing boats, tugs and ferries, operating in U.S territorial waters to install a USCG certified Automatic Identification System (AIS) transceiver by March 2016. This adoption of AIS technology is a great leap forward in providing vessel owners, operators and crews with the necessary emergency-readiness equipment needed in emergency situations.  As the global leader in emergency readiness and response, we are excited by the momentum behind this mandate in promoting widespread education and adoption of more innovative SAR technology in the future. Here we will take a deeper look into this new mandate, the role and large-scale maritime benefits of AIS technology and how we at McMurdo have taken innovative steps with this technology to provide and support you with products that are compliant with this new mandate.

USCG AIS Mandate Specifics
According to the USCG AIS Mandate, certain categories of vessels are subject to equip their ships with AIS. The specifications include:

  • Vessels of 65 feet or more in length
  • Towing vessels of 26 feet or more in length and more than 600 hp
  • Vessels certificated to carry more than 150 passengers
  • Dredges that operate near a channel

Some categories of vessels are required to install a Class A type transceiver and others an AIS Class B type device. The type of transceiver has a number of impacts on AIS capability, primarily information from a Class A transceiver will always be prioritized and be shown to other ships in the area, whereas AIS information from a Class B transceiver may not be shown until or if there is room on the AIS channel. Class A AIS transponders transmit at 12W and transmissions are sent every few seconds. Class B units are fully integrated into the AIS system but have a lower 2W transmit power and only send their data every 30 seconds.

Why AIS?
With AIS, vessel voyage, position and course information is automatically transmitted and the AIS information provided by other ships in the vicinity, shore based stations and AIS equipped aids to navigation are clearly displayed.

Some primary benefits of AIS include:

  • Collision avoidance –Improved visibility of all vessels occupying the waterways.
  • Vessel to vessel communication –allows for better navigation across the water.
  • Shore-side tracking and monitoring—by partners, colleagues and family.
  • Vessel tracking—aid in fleet management and security.

McMurdo & AIS
Here at McMurdo, we have supported mandates like this in other countries around the world with our full product range of proven AIS solutions. We are confident that this new regulation is for the safety and benefit of all vessels on the water, and with over 150 combined years of experience, a global service network and a proven product portfolio that is used by thousands of the world’s leading maritime customers, we are here to help by providing you with the most innovative and reliable products available. To learn more about this mandate and how we at McMurdo can equip you with our advanced line of USCG AIS mandate-compliant AIS transponders, check out our AIS U.S. Coast Guard Mandate Resource Page.