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Five Minutes with Richard Marler, Chairman, President & CEO, Signal International

Richard Marler

In the June 2010 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News (, we had the opportunity to meet with Richard Marler, Chairman, President and CEO of Signal International, on the sidelines of OTC to discuss his company’s rapid growth and promising future. – by Greg Trauthwein, Editor What is the primary focus of Signal International? RM     Our principal focus is offshore drilling rig and ship overhaul, repair, upgrade and conversion. Additionally, we provide services to the general marine and heavy fabrication markets and are moving into shipbuilding. When and why did you start Signal? RM     The company was created in January 2003. After the Friede Goldman bankruptcy, we essentially picked up the offshore sector, which included four yards in Texas and two yards in Mississippi. The name Signal was chosen for its meanings associated with communication and outstanding achievement. To what do you attribute your company’s strong growth? RM     On day one we realized that we needed to be diversified, but first and foremost we realized that we needed to be an ISO certified yard, and that we needed to be focused on safety. From the outset we knew we had a challenge entering both old and new markets, and adopted the stance that we would ‘crawl, walk, run.’ How is your company investing?

Grandweld, New Shipbuilding Contracts

According to a June 23 report from Seatrade, Grandweld recently held keel laying ceremonies for two 118 ft utility vessels and one 134.5 ft crewboat for repeat customer Humaid Badir Marine Shipping Est., a UAE based fleet operator. The three vessel order is said to signal a strong 2009/10 order book for the Dubai based shipbuilding, ship repair and conversion yard, part of GMMOS Group. (Source: Seatrade)

Boomtown Barge Headed for Repairs

According to reports, Tugboats began towing Boomtown Casino's gambling barge to a dry dock in Pascagoula. The repairs at Signal International should take about three weeks, company officials said. Penn National Gaming, which owns Boomtown and Casino Magic Bay St. Louis, has committed to rebuild its Coast properties. Company executives are expected to release more information this week when they issue a quarterly earnings report and host a conference call.

BAE Sees Way to Replace GPS

BAE Systems unveils research on an advanced positioning system using existing transmissions to calculate accurately the user’s location Military platforms commonly use Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to find their position and navigate. GPS rely upon a specific and relatively weak satellite signal that is vulnerable to disruption. Known as Navigation via Signals of Opportunity (NAVSOP), BAE Systems’ new system is able to calculate its position by making use of the hundreds of

Cellular Signal Boosters: Relief for Inland & Coastal Mariners

Wilson Products.jpg

Wilson Electronics, a U.S.-based manufacturer of cellular signal boosters, is targeting inland and coastal waterway users with a new marine initiative. The development of a signal booster kit that improves cellular coverage for boaters on inland waterways and for near-shore mariners means that dropped connections and no-service zones may be a thing of the past. Cellular booster systems take a weak signal – sometimes too faint for a cellular device to detect – and boost it so that

Panama Canal's JIT Transit Service Modified


  The arrival time for vessels that have been awarded a JIT (Just-in-Time) Transit Service at Panama Canal will be determined based on the conditions listed below, and not the time the vessel arrives at the sea buoy at either terminal of the Canal. In this regard, for booking purposes, vessels will be deemed to have "arrived" at either Canal terminal when radio contact has been established between the vessel and the respective Panama Canal Signal Station, and:

A&P Birkenhead Gets Triple Ferry Deal

A&P Group's newly reopened dry dock facility, A&P Birkenhead, has recently completed the dry docking and repairs of Mersey Ferries' 464grt passenger ferry Woodchurch. The Woodchurch is the first of three vessels booked into the yard by Mersey Ferries Ltd, the Passenger Transport Authority and Executive for Merseyside. The three ship contract was won in open competition against other UK ship repairers. The two other ferries

M/V Columbia Experiences Generator Problem

The M/V Columbia experienced a malfunction in one of its four generators that resulted in a fire while it was transiting Seymour Narrows on Saturday causing the ship to lose power to one of its two engines. The Columbia was escorted to Duncan Bay by a tug and crews ran assessments of its operating systems before Transport Canada the mCanadian Transport Safety Board cleared the ship to proceed to Ketchikan. The ship left Duncan Bay under full power at about 8 a.m

Italian Authorities Continue Ship Search

A ship, called the Davis, believed to be carrying as many as 180 illegal immigrants was still missing on Monday, after sending a distress signal from waters off southern Italy on Saturday evening, the Italian coastguard said. The coastguard searched all weekend for the ship with speedboats and a helicopter but found nothing. "The search is still continuing," a spokesman for the Brindisi coastguard said on Monday morning

Sequestration Prevents Repair of USS Miami

The Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine USS Miami (SSN 755) surfaces in the North Arabian Sea during an anti-submarine warfare exercise with the Enterprise Carrier Strike Group, Nov. 11, 2007. U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Scott Miller

By Rear Adm. Richard Breckenridge, Director, Undersea Warfare USS Miami was set ablaze by an arsonist in May 2012. The Navy recently completed a comprehensive assessment of the extensive fire damage, finding that the submarine is fully repairable from a technical perspective; however, inspections have revealed a greater scope of work than originally envisioned. Under the financial constraints of sequestration, the Navy said it cannot afford to undertake the repairs

Columbia Group Opens NJ Intermodal Depot

The Columbia Group of Companies will open a new intermodal chassis depot located in Bayonne, NJ on November 16, 2015.   Trac Intermodal will be the first customer to join the depot. Columbia Group, through its affiliates Columbia Container Services and Columbia Intermodal

Sembcorp Upgrades of Pacific Eden and Pacific Aria for P&O Cruises

Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden - Concurrent repair and upgrading of Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden at Sembcorp Marine Admiralty Yard in November 2015. Photo:  Sembcorp Marine Ltd

 Sembcorp Marine, a global leader in cruise ship repair, refurbishment and conversion work, has successfully upgraded the Pacific Eden (formerly Statendam) and the Pacific Aria (formerly Ryndam) at its Admiralty Yard.    The concurrent drydocking of these two cruise vessels at the

Intellian to Debut New Satellite TV Antenna

The latest product to join Intellian’s i-Series antenna range, the i5P, will be unveiled at the METSTRADE exhibition November 17-19 in Amsterdam.   Intellian, a producer of maritime satellite communication antenna technology, will display the newest addition to its TVRO portfolio

Simrad HALO Radar Wins 2015 Design Award

In October 2015, Simrad HALO Pulse Compression Radar also won the NMEA 2015

Simrad HALO Pulse Compression Radar, the world’s first high-performance recreational solid-state, open-array radar system with pulse compression technology, has won the prestigious 2015 Design Award METS (DAME) in the Marine Electronics category at the Marine Equipment Trade Show in Amsterdam

China Gets Port of Darwin

Photo: Northern Territory Government

 The Northern Territory (NT) Government in Australia announced the successful bidder for the Port of Darwin – Landbridge Group, based in the People’s Republic of China.    Chinese privately owned energy and infrastructure conglomerate Landbridge Group has won a $A506

MSC Silvia Joins Fleet


MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company today took delivery of the MSC Silvia, the latest of a brand new class of 9,400 TEU container ships from the leading ocean carrier. Following today’s inauguration ceremony in Shanghai, MSC Silvia will join the Empire service between the Far East and US

Shipping Emissions Back in COP21 Agenda

Graphics: International Chamber of Shipping

 The shipping industry emissions is back in the draft Paris COP 21 agreement following a meeting of negotiators in Bonn last week.   Shipping was dropped earlier in October. However, on October 14, E.U. parliamentarians called for emissions reduction targets for both sectors to be set

GLS Wins Multi-Vessel USACE Contract

Photo courtesy of Great Lakes Shipyard

Great Lakes Shipyard has been awarded a contract by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Detroit District for the drydocking and repairs of the Floating Plant, based at the Detroit Field Station. The shipyard will perform routine drydocking

Three USACE Vessels Drydocked at Great Lakes Shipyard

Photo: Great Lakes Shipyard

Great Lakes Shipyard announced it has been awarded a contract from the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Detroit District for the drydocking and repairs of the Floating Plant, based at the Detroit Field Station.   The shipyard will perform routine drydocking

MOL Containership Rescues Castaways

Scenes of rescue operations

  Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. today announced that on October 29, 2015, the MOL-operated containership MOL PROFICIENCY safely rescued all two survivors 400 km offshore of Canary Islands. Details of the rescue follow: ・ At 09:05 (all times in local time) on October 29, 2015

USS Anchorage Aids Stranded Sri Lankan Fishing Vessel

Sailors assigned to San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23), pull alongside stranded Sri Lankan fishing vessel MV Lakshan.

  San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) rendered assistance and provided aid to the crew of a stranded Sri Lankan-flagged fishing vessel, M/V Lakshan, Nov. 4 at 12:30 p.m. local time. Watchstanders spotted six mariners aboard the vessel waving articles

Tideland Signal Corporation Acquires IMT

MATT SCHEUING Courtesy Tideland

  Tideland Signal Corporation today entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the IMT B.V. Group of Companies (“IMT”). IMT is well known for developing innovative lighting, navigation and signalization products and systems with clients ranging from offshore to marine

Zamakona Repairs Spanish Hospital Ships

Photo: Zamakona Yards

Spanish shipbuilding and repair group Zamakona Yards announced it has completed simultaneously repair and maintenance projects aboard two government-owned hospital ships, Juan De La Cosa and Esperanza Del Mar.   The vessel Juan De La Cosa was repaired at Zamakona Pasaia yard at San Sebastian

Mayall Joins Bollinger as VP Sales/Marketing

Joe Mayhall (Photo: Bollinger)

Bollinger Shipyards announces the addition of Joe Mayhall to its corporate sales and marketing team.    Bollinger president and CEO Ben Bordelon made the announcement, stating, “In his new role of Vice President, Commercial Business Development

New Drydock for FMT Shipyard and Repair

Photo: Gulf Island Marine Fabricators

Gulf Island Marine Fabricators has recently delivered a new drydock named the J.B. Barthelemy to FMT Shipyard and Repair.   The new drydock, which is 180 feet long and 73 feet wide with 63-foot clearance between the wingwalls, seven-foot deep pontoon with 18-foot high wing walls, has a 2

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