Tag Archives: tugs

My 9/11 rescue and survivor stories reprinted

Two articles I wrote shortly after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre have just been reprinted in a 10-year retrospective.

Tugboat rescuing people escaping collapse of Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001

The tugboat Kathleen Turecamo rescues people from Lower Manhattan (Penn Maritime photo)

The first one, Armada rescues trapped New Yorkers, was based on extensive phone interviews with tugboat owners with Reinauer Transportation and Moran Towing, as well as officials with U.S. Coast Guard Activities New York and Vessel Traffic Services New York.

The second article Escape from the 91st Floor followed an interview with Claire McIntyre – a staffer with the American Bureau of Shipping – and described her dramatic escape from the north tower of the World Trade Centre.

Both articles were printed in Seattle-based Marine Digest magazine, a magazine I edited at one time, which has since changed its name to Cargo Business News. The articles can also be found directly on this website at:

* Armada rescues trapped New Yorkers (9/11)
* Escape from the 91st Floor (9/11)

What if a containership ran aground on Nootka Island?

By Alison Bate

When a ship gets into trouble off the remote west coast of Vancouver Island, there are very few rescue services around.

The province relies on a commercial tug in the area being able to help out. Currently, major seagoing tugs carry electronic tracking devices so they can be located in real-time on computer charts. This information is provided to US and Canadian Marine Vessel Traffic Services to refer to if there is an emergency request for tug assistance. This is known as a “tug-of-opportunity”.

Apart from the fact that there may not be a tug capable of holding a large ship cruising by at the right time, there are several other flaws in this arrangement. Continue reading

Tug escort rules vary in B.C.

By Alison Bate

I must admit I was a little surprised not to get a straight answer from Transport Canada at first about the number of tug escorts traveling with condensate tankers into Kitimat.

I assumed it was clearly set down in the legislation whether tankers carrying this kind of hydrocarbon mixture required tug escorts and, if so, how many.

After all, set rules are laid down for laden oil tankers passing through Haro Strait. They are required to travel with tug escorts, as are laden crude oil tankers leaving the port of Vancouver, typically from Kinder Morgan Canada’s Westridge Terminal in Burnaby.

Continue reading