News and Media

Crowley Completes Tow of the Ex-USS Iowa More than 6,500 Miles from Rhode Island through the Panama Canal to California

(Seattle, Wash.; May 14, 2001) – Crowley Marine Services successfully completed its third tow of an historic U.S. Naval battleship April 21, when the company’s tug Sea Victory finished the 6,500 mile tow of the USS Iowa from Newport, R.I., to Suisun Bay, Calif. The Sea Victory’s tow plan took the Iowa from Narragansett Bay, through the Crooked and Windward Passages to Cristobal, Panama. She then continued Northwest along the coast of Central America toward California.

The Panama Canal transit, which took three full days, proved a tight fit with only eight inches to spare on either side of the Iowa as she was maneuvered through the locks. The Sea Victory towed the 888-foot Iowa at an overall average speed of about 6 knots with the ships propellers locked into a stationary position to prevent damage to the engines and ship during the tow. The Iowa traveled without crew for the duration of the voyage.

“I would like to pass on our thanks and appreciation to Crowley for a job well done on the Iowa tow,” said Captain Chapman, U.S. Navy. “All of our personnel who saw Crowley’s crew in action commented about the professionalism of their personnel. I hope we have another opportunity to work with Crowley.”

The World War II-era Iowa was commissioned in February 1943 and is currently under the custodianship of the Naval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility.

It is one of several historic U.S. ships the Sea Victory has towed. During the last four years she has also towed the USS Missouri to Pearl Harbor, the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany 15,000 miles around South America from California to Texas, and the USS New Jersey from Washington state to its final home in New Jersey.

The 150-foot, 7,200 horsepower tug Sea Victory is one of three Crowley tugs of its class. The tug is designed to operate in extremely adverse conditions and is well suited for ocean towing with a fuel capacity of nearly 200,000 gallons.

“Crowley has enjoyed a close partnership with the U.S. Navy, having provided support for a number of historic tows over the past several years,” said Todd Busch, manager, contracts and emergency services for Crowley. “Crowley and our employees look forward to continuing this successful partnership for many years to come.”

Oakland-based Crowley, founded in 1892, is primarily a family- and employee-owned company engaged in worldwide logistics, liner services, contract towing and transportation, energy support services, ship assist and escort services, vessel management and petroleum and chemical marine transport. Additional information about Crowley, its subsidiaries and business units may be found on the Internet at www.crowley.com.

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