The United States Navy received a second major shipment of Fiobuoys, made by Fiomarine, a small company based in Tasmania, Australia.
The shipments are part of a two-year supply contract. The contract represents a 340 per cent sales growth for Fiomarine in less than three years. The order for its Fiobuoy underwater retrieval system is Fiomarine’s largest to date, and makes the U.S. the chief user of the technology.
Fiomarine is now pursuing other U.S. markets, beginning with an exhibition at the International Workboat Show in New Orleans in December. Fiomarine is one of only a few Australian companies that supplies directly to the U.S. Defense Department.
“The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has been using Fiobuoys for ten years, so it was only a matter of time,” said Fiomarine Commercial Director John Fiotakis.
Mr. Fiotakis invented the submersible marine marker buoy and retrieval system in the 1980s when his boat’s motors were caught in a number of crayfish pot lines. The idea of keeping everything hidden underwater was quickly recognized by the ADF as an invaluable tool in defense operations.
The Fiobuoy is a buoy that remains submerged underwater while tethered to equipment or assets. To retrieve that equipment, a signal is sent to the buoy to release itself and complete its marking function on the surface. It is currently used by the Navies of Australia, U.S., Singapore and Japan, and in support of marine research and hydrographic operations around the world.
Fiomarine is exhibiting as part of Maritime Tasmania at Booth 3327 at International Workboat.