Hull and East Riding Mail
'WE MEAN BUSINESS': Ken Gaunt, left, chief executive of Marine Rescue Technologies, Beverley, with David Marshall
A Beverley manufacturer of marine rescue products is targeting global markets after a multi-million-pound expansion.
Marine Rescue Technologies (MRT), which operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of Australian marine safety company Mobilarm, has expanded its Beverley base and plans to expand globally.
The company has invested in new manufacturing equipment, assembly facilities and offices.
MRT, which was founded by David Marshall in 1974 in the aftermath of the Gaul tragedy, was bought by Mobilarm in 2011.
Ken Gaunt, MRT chief executive, said: "We are here, we mean business and we're really excited about the opportunities the next few years will bring.
"We have already invested millions in facilities, resources, employees, product development and training in the first phase of investment and expansion.
"We will open new facilities in Aberdeen and in the US in Houston, Texas, in the foreseeable future, extending our global reach so that moving forward and buoyed by our new products and facilities."
Mr Gaunt, who is originally from Zimbabwe, brought the bulk of Mobilarm's operations to East Yorkshire when the company bought MRT.
Prior to the recent expansion, Mr Gaunt moved MRT's operations and its Sea Marshall brand from Middleton-on-the-Wolds to Beverley.
The company has also enlisted the experience and guidance of former Royal Navy vice-admiral Sir Tim McClement.
Mr Gaunt said: "Our local and maritime connections are fundamental to how we move our business forward.
"We employ locally as much as we can and we have also entered into an apprenticeship programme with East Riding College."
As a result of the expansion, MRT has increased its range of products and increased staff numbers in Beverley from 13 to 28.
Many of the staff at the firm are longstanding employees, with professionally trained maritime safety advisers, including specialists with military and Merchant Navy backgrounds.
MRT specialises in man overboard monitoring, as well as alerting and tracking systems for a number of sectors, including oil and gas, helicopter transfer, offshore wind farms, aqua culture, seismic and general maritime.
Mr Gaunt said he expects the customer base to grow as a result of the investment.
He said: "We fully expect our customer rental and service base to grow significantly in the coming two to three years.
"As a business, we want to lead the industry with innovation and passion to constantly improve maritime safety.
"Our business is dedicated to saving the man in the water.
"We have a very different vision to other companies in the sector as 100 per cent of our focus is on the man overboard market.
"We will continue to invest in new technology with our own R and D facilities, trialling products to suit specific market requirements.
"As far as regulation is concerned, we know what is coming and are looking to grow our rental and service customer base to meet the regulatory and market challenges ahead."
The majority of the company's products are manufactured and assembled on-site in Beverley.