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History of Tidewater


Tidewater strengthens its position as a leader in the OSV sector with the completion of a business combination with GulfMark, a Houston, Texas headquartered OSV operator with a strong track record of safe and high-quality operations, and scale positions in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea, as well as long-standing operations in South East Asia. The combination creates the largest OSV fleet globally, with the addition of 66 vessels to the Tidewater fleet.

2010 - 2017


  • Tidewater successfully completes a restructuring process and emerges as an OSV industry leader with significant financial wherewithal to continue to weather the ongoing market challenges.


  • Tidewater proactively reacts with the necessary stacking of equipment and implementation of cost-cutting initiatives.
  • Safe, efficient operations are maintained, resulting in the best safety performance in company history in fiscal 2016, with no lost time accidents and an historic best 0.08 TRIR per 200,000 manhours.


  • Tidewater acquires Troms Offshore Supply AS in June 2013, a Norwegian-based supply vessel operator which owned and operated four deepwater PSVs and had two additional deepwater PSVs under construction.
  • Tidewater Subsea is formed and takes delivery of six work-class remotely operated vehicles (ROV) for expansion into the growing subsea marketplace.


  • Jeffrey M. Platt takes over from Dean E. Taylor as President and CEO and joins the Board of Directors.


  • Tidewater’s fleet enhancement program continues, with over $600 million invested in new vessels during fiscal 2011.


  • The safety record is the best in company history, with no lost time accidents during fiscal 2010 and a Total Recordable Incident Rate at a record 0.13 per 200,000 manhours.
  • Crew of the Tidewater vessel Damon B Bankston rescues all 115 survivors from the Deepwater Horizon incident in April 2010.
2000 - 2009


  • Tidewater establishes another record for revenue and earnings per share. The company allocates $310 million for common stock repurchases while investing $354 million for new vessels, as its fleet upgrade program continues.


  • Tidewater generates record revenues and profits while achieving the best safety performance in its 51-year history.


  • Tidewater celebrates its 50th anniversary and reports its second-highest annual profits in company history.


  • Tidewater’s corporate office in New Orleans withstands Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. While the corporate office in New Orleans is closed for three months post-Katrina, U.S.-shore based personnel successfully continue to operate from company facilities in Amelia, Louisiana and Houston, Texas.


  • Tidewater receives the prestigious Safety in Seas Award from the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA).


  • Tidewater announces its acquisition of 27 vessels from Ensco, part of an ongoing effort to expand and upgrade its fleet.


  • Dean E. Taylor takes over from William C. O’Malley as Chairman, President and CEO.


  • Tidewater’s new build program is expanded to a $700 million plan, ensuring that its fleet will be a leading competitor in deepwater markets globally.


  • Tidewater embarks on a $250 – $300 million new construction program that positions the company as a key supplier of vessels to support the deepwater exploration market.
1990 -1999


  • Revenues top $1 billion for the first time, and net earnings reach a record $315 million, doubling 1997 earnings and quadrupling 1996 earnings.  


  • Tidewater acquires O.I.L. Ltd., increasing its fleet to more than 700 vessels.  


  • Tidewater acquires Hornbeck Offshore Services, pushing the company’s vessel count to more than 600.  


  • Tidewater restructures its corporate headquarters and field management offices.  


  • Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer John P. Laborde retires.
  • William C. O’Malley takes over as the company’s Chairman, President and CEO.
  • Tidewater Compression expands by acquiring Brazos Gas Compression Corp. and the gas compression subsidiary of energy giant Halliburton.  


  • Tidewater donates Tidewater Place to Tulane University.
  • Tidewater retires all senior debt.  


  • Tidewater consummates a merger with Zapata Gulf Marine, doubling the size of its fleet.
  • Tidewater purchases 19 offshore construction support vessels from McDermott International.  


  • Tidewater completes a successful offering of 5.5 million shares of common stock and pays down $61 million in senior debt.
1980 - 1989


  • Tidewater receives but refuses an unsolicited buyout offer from the Jacobs Group, which at the time owns 20.6 percent of the company’s stock.  


  • Tidewater records a $56.7 million loss amid restructuring of its debt with its major lenders.
  • Tidewater sells its Indonesian oil interests.  


  • Tidewater completes a two-year building program adding 40 vessels to the fleet at a cost of $104 million.  


  • Tidewater records its first loss in its 29-year history as the oil and gas industry endures some of the worst times on record.
  • Tidewater sells Hilliard Oil & Gas.


  • Irwin Jacobs Group offers to purchase all of Tidewater’s stock in a takeover bid.  


  • Tidewater completes a $200 million, 59-vessel new construction program.
1970 - 1979


  • Tidewater adds 26 new vessels to its fleet at a cost of $37.1 million.  


  • Revenues exceed $180 million with earnings of more than $30 million.


  • The company changes its name to Tidewater Inc.
  • Tidewater acquires Tidewater Place, a 24-story corporate headquarters building in New Orleans.
  • Tidewater purchases Hilliard Oil & Gas, an oil and gas exploration and production firm.


  • Tidewater establishes its corporate office in the Tidewater Marine building in New Orleans, Louisiana.


  • Tidewater (TDW) is listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges.
  • Tidewater acquires an interest in oil production in waters off of Indonesia.
1960 - 1969


  • Tidewater acquires South Coast Gas Compression to create Tidewater Compression Service, Inc.  


  • Tidewater acquires Twenty Grand Marine, increasing its fleet to 350 vessels.


  • Tidewater’s fleet expands to record numbers—more than 200 vessels at work in the United States, South America, Central America and West Africa.


  • Net earnings exceed $1 million for the first time.  


  • Tidewater pays first stock dividend of $.05 per share.
1955 - 1959


  • International operations begin in Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela.


  • Tidewater Marine Service, Inc., a public company, commences business in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.


  • Ten investors build the Ebb Tide, the world’s first oil and gas service vessel.