Leading lifeboat and davit manufacturer Schat-Harding has strengthened its support for cruise ship operators in the Miami area by opening a service base in Fort Lauderdale. The new offices, service base and workshops will be within the Fort Lauderdale facilities of Worldwide Marine Services, the global ship technical support group, and Schat-Harding will train and authorise Worldwide Marine technicians to support its own service engineers. The base will provide quick reaction service and repair support to cruise ship operators and also to ships of any type calling at ports across the Miami region, especially those of owners with Fleet Service Agreements with the Schat-Harding group.

Gary Joseph, president of Schat-Harding Americas, says, "By joining forces with Worldwide Marine in Fort Lauderdale we strengthen our existing Florida service network and provide owners with a well-equipped service base close to the key cruise base ports. We will have the use of a full workshop and fabrication facilities, and we shall put our own staff there, and also train and authorise the Worldwide Marine technicians on all the Schat-Harding brands. They will work alongside our experienced Schat-Harding service engineers, giving us much more capacity to provide the quick, secure service which cruise ships in particular need."

David Bradley, Executive Vice-president of Schat-Harding's service division says, "Many major owners now have five year Fleet Service Agreements with us, and we are keen to ensure that manufacturer-trained and authorised service personnel and spare parts are available to them when they need them, where they need them. Miami is a key location for the cruise ship business, and Schat-Harding is the world leader in cruise ship lifeboats and davits. This new facility will help the responsible owners who want to ensure they comply with IMO MSC1206 by using manufacturer-trained service personnel, so ensuring boats and davits are always in good condition, they are less likely to have problems with port authorities and they drastically reduce the chance of an accident with a lifeboat."

Schat-Harding's Service Division now has Americas service bases in Virginia, Florida and Louisiana in the USA and also in Canada, Mexico and Panama. Globally it has over 300 personnel including 165 trained and authorised service engineers working out of 17 Schat-Harding owned service stations, supported by 15 certified service partners operating in over 30 countries.