Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Craig Trans - in the teeth of a gale (more to come)

1. As Craig Foss

The classic tug Craig Trans flying the flag of Bolivia, arrived this afternoon in the teeth of a gale. It anchored at first, but was unable to hold position, and so moved to pier 25 - where I hope to get a better picture.
Built in 1943 by Tampa Marine Corp for the US Army, it was one of the class of Large Tugs and was named LT 648.
The Army laid up the tug in 1960, and Foss Maritime of Seattle acquired in 1965. They rebuilt the tug at their own yard in 1966. They replaced the original single 1343 bhp Fairbanks-Morse with a pair of 2,000 bhp EMDs. Renaming it Craig Foss they sent it far and wide. First hauling lumber barges to Hawaii, and latterly running to Alaska, it made numerous long tows to the Gulf of Mexico, Venezuela and got as far north as New Jersey on at least one trip.
Eventually in 2011 Foss said goodbye to the tug. Its first assignment for the new owners was to tow the ferry Queen of Saanich from Anvil Island, BC to Ensenada, MX for scrap last August. I don't have any details on its more recent movements however.
At this point my bet is that it is heading for St.John's to tow the cruise ship Lyubov Orlova to the Dominican Republic, instead of the woefully under powered Charlene Hunt featured in these pages a few weeks ago. [My bet was wrong - see updates]
That tug is still sitting in St.John's with plywood on its windows after encountering severe weather on its way past Halifax. I hear it had to be evacuated by some of its crew, and was brought in full of water by only its master and engineer.
Regrettably I fear that Craig Trans, despite its power and wonderful sea keeping abilities may be well past its prime too, so there may be little good news in this story.
More later.

2. As Craig Foss.

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