Friday, January 30, 2009

To Late to Turn Back Now

That doesn't belong on the deck!

So after my uneventful trip on multiple planes up North I made it to the Tug with no problems.This surprised me as the weather up and down the East Coast was changing for the worse.I am glad to be back aboard the "Mother Ship" as it feels more like home and I was well recieved.The next morning,Thursday, we got underway from Providence,Rhode Island bound for Somerset,Massachusetts.Only a twenty mile ride I was excited to be back on a Tug that I know all the in and outs of.We had to pull a few sketchy bridges in an curve in the river which made for a few hectis moments.No fear with the mate and captain working side by side and trusty Tugboatdude on the bow giving appropriate steering directions we cleared the bridges.Now with the power plant in sight I just knew I would be back aboard before the evening news.This was an incorrect assumption.

The engineer was sent up to check it out,nothing he can do about it

So as the saying or sayings of the same sort go,if it can go wrong it surely will.I would like to start this damage summary off by saying no persons were injured only metal structures.So with the assist Tug waiting just off the dock he approached full steam towards the barge,bad idea tough guy.After a clear warning that the freeboard,the amount of barge sticking out of the water,was very little the assist did not heed this warning unfortunately.His lack of lower bow rubber to rub on the freeboard that was available was indeed a downfall.Instead of coming into the side of the barge at a ninety degree angle he decided to "walk" the tug up the barge.Only very skilled pilots and a few Captains possess this ability to make a Tug move sideways or walk it.None ever and I mean ever have been able to do it while the barge is still in motion.So there is the set up my friends.Now here is how it went down and sideways and crash boom.

Take a guess who this could be

The tug "walked" unsuccessfully into the side of the barge almost backwards.Upon making contact she spun around and with no lower bow rubber caught the safety stanchions on the side of the barge.After ripping a few off of there base he proceeded to push on the barge to get the tug at a ninety degree angle.Problem is he ended up pushing the barge into the dock at an inappropriate time.He was then ordered to clear the barge and stand by.A few minutes later when ordered to catch a line to prevent the barge from smashing the dock the same thing proceeded to happen at a different spot on the barge.I stood clear the second time knowing full well this was bound to happen.A few snotty remarks over the radio later and he was ordered to stay clear.The barge was then landed and the damage was assessed.

A few more bent but not broke

I guess the funny thing is the owner of the assist tug is the owner of this brand new coal container barge.The other funny thing is I was asked to take my camera with me as the Captain was warned about the assist boat and the lack of skill possessed by it's current helmsman and captain.So there I was after docking the barge taking damage pictures with the crew of the assist boat staring me down.Sorry guys just doing my job and covering my own ass.We are under contract and we don't want to lose this contract because some wahoo can't steer his boat.On another note as I'm sure everyone knows,it isn't easy to steer a tugboat,it in fact is quite difficult.It isn't like driving a car as many people think.I won't post the most incriminating photos out of respect of the crew that had nothing to do with there captains lack of skill.


Swamp Thing said...

This would have never happened on a Skiffes Creek vessel.

tugboatdude said...

Yeah your right on that.The boat wouldn't have even been able to catch up to the barge let alone move it.

{nUtTyPrOfFeSsOr} said...

But a Hardwood Mills' vessel would have handled that bumfish!