New Crowley Tugs Going Strong


September 2013


Back to Issue

The newest tugboats in SIU-contracted Crowley Maritime’s fleet are staying plenty busy these days, smoothly carrying out diverse operations from the Gulf of Mexico all the way to Alaska.


“Our jobs definitely are not the same thing as just towing a barge from point- A to point-B,” said Chief Mate Darrel Koonce aboard the Ocean Wind. “Crowley spent a good bit of money on these tugs and we’re doing lots of different jobs.”


Capt. Ted Caffy on the Ocean Wave stated, “We realize the potential of these boats. There have never been dynamic positioning tugboats in the Gulf of Mexico working in the oil fields until now. We’re making it happen, and in Alaska, too. I’ve taken this one from Lake Charles (La.) to Alaska and back.”


Crowley’s next-generation tugboats include the Ocean Wave, Ocean Wind, Ocean Sun and Ocean Sky. Their dynamic- positioning technology allows the vessels to maintain positions and headings automatically, using a centralized manual control that continuously calculates environmental conditions and adjusts to the nuances. The tugs range in size from 146-156 feet long and can sail at 15 knots with 15,000 hp and 165 tons of bollard pull.


“What’s happening with these tugs is exciting,” said SIU Vice President Gulf Coast Dean Corgey. “Crowley is really poised for growth in the offshore gas and oil field in the Gulf of Mexico, and our members are helping make it happen. And while they’re doing so, our members are enjoying competitive pay and superior benefits for the industry.”


Asked about the contract covering the tugs and a recent wage increase, Caffy replied, “I think everybody is happy with it – I haven’t heard any complaints…. All the parties have done the right thing, and that’s very much appreciated. We’re very appreciative of the increase in wages and we look forward to continuing to make Crowley money.”


Koonce added, “We’ve come a long way. There’s still a ways to go, but contract negotiations can be tough.”


Russo commended the work of Seafarers aboard each of the tugs: “All of the guys are committed to safety and are doing a bang-up job,” he said, adding that any qualified Seafarers who want to apply for work on the new boats should contact the SIU hall in Houston.



Share |