West coast tugs and the Prime Minister’s babysitter

August 18, 2018

The federal government of Canada recently revealed a plaque commemorating the humble tug and its important role in BC’s development. Tugs and towing was a fundamental part of BC development, since all matters of products moving in and out of tight inlets and tricky narrows, deep fjords were generally move by tug and barge. BC’s tug industry spawned an important marine cluster around Vancouver. Notable marine industry names from the…

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Government of Canada awards contract under the Oceans Protection Plan to increase emergency offshore towing capability off British Columbia coast

August 10, 2018

August 9, 2018 – Gatineau (Quebec) – Public Services and Procurement Canada Through the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada is working to achieve a world-leading marine safety system that protects Canada’s waters and coasts today and into the future. An important part of this Plan is ensuring the Canadian Coast Guard has the equipment it needs to prevent potential marine pollution incidents. Following an open and competitive process,…

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U.S. Coast Guard seeks mariner input for Western Rivers study

April 6, 2018

WASHINGTON – The United States Coast Guard is seeking input for a study of navigation requirements for the entire Western Rivers System. The Coast Guard Waterways Analysis and Management System (WAMS) study will review the Western Rivers Aids to Navigation (ATON) System. The ATON system on the Western Rivers differs from the U.S. Coastal ATON System due to the unstable nature of the river and channels. The Coast Guard operates…

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Zed is dead!

December 18, 2013

Third tug, third drydock, third contract After many years on “conventional” shaft and propeller powered vessels, I am quickly coming to appreciate the complexity of Z drives, right angle drives, or whatever these are called in your neck of the ocean. With three dry-docking in three contracts, on three different boats, in one year, I am getting some familiarization with these complex machines. My latest adventure involves a Kawasaki Rexpeller…

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Cold and desolate

December 10, 2013

Pulling up the barge’s spuds on a very chilly day We pulled stakes – literally, the barge was “staked” in – from Deception Bay about three weeks ago (as written at the time when I had no internet service). However the weather deteriorating, and not having an anchor on the barge, meant we steamed around the bay doing circles for three days. Yes, there is no more fun a sailor…

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Its ok to breath now…

Long time visitor and contributor to the site, Bilge Rat, sent me this video a few weeks back. It’s a riveting drama of a tug in a dire spot on the fast moving waters of the Mississippi, and another tug comes to the rescue. Also a good lesson for all sailors, whether sailing on green, blue or brown waters, always keep your watertight doors and hatches closed and dogged! He…

June 26, 2012
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Why TC does not comment

January 31, 2011

I was doing some research on another topic when I came across an interesting article from the Tyee, a BC based, shall we say, left leaning, epub. The articles chronicles the interaction of the paper, with Transport Canada, and their (varying) stance on crewing for tugs operating in Vancouver Harbour. The reason this subject has been in the news this past year, is that Alberta “tar sands” crude, and bitumen,…

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A ray of Sun

January 9, 2011

The largest newspaper, west of the Canadian Rockies, has a feature on west coast tugs in today’s Business section. It features an optimistic outlook by the regional operators after several years of hardships – no pun intended. Seaspan is featured in the story, as is the Catherwood, Jones Marine, Smit, Pilots and others. An interesting read overall, but the history side is of course nothing new to those plying these…

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