Skip to Content

Crowley Marine Services to Tow the USS New Jersey

“Big J” Scheduled to Depart Bremerton September 12

SEATTLE (August 27, 1999) – The Crowley Marine Services’ tug Sea Victory is about to commence yet another historic tow in its life of sea-going service. The monumental tow will begin on Sunday, September 12, as it tows the USS New Jersey from Bremerton, Washington to Philadelphia via the Panama Canal. The USS New Jersey is the most decorated battleship in U.S. history, having earned 16 battle stars.

Crowley’s Sea Victory is no stranger to military tows. Last year, she towed the ex-USS Missouri to Pearl Harbor and just recently finished towing the aircraft carrier ex-USS Oriskany on a 15,000 mile tow around South America from Vallejo, California to Beaumont, Texas.

The Sea Victory and the New Jersey will start the voyage in Bremerton, Washington, sail out through Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and then turn southbound into the Pacific Ocean. The “Big J” will be towed over 5,800 miles through the Panama Canal and then up the Atlantic Coast to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, where it will remain in storage while preparations are made for its final home in New Jersey. The trip is expected to last until November 5. The Panama Canal transit will take approximately four days and will be a tight fit, with only eight inches of room to spare on either side of the “Big J” as she is maneuvered through the locks.

The 149-foot, 7,200 horsepower tug Sea Victory is one of three Crowley tugs of this class. The Sea Victory 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’s Sea Victory will tow the 887-foot USS New Jersey at a speed of about 6 knots (approximately 7 miles per hour) because of the drag created by the battleship’s giant propellers, which will be locked in a stationary position to prevent damage to the engines. In fact, the entire ship will be “dead” — completely without crew.

Crowley Marine Services, Inc. provides specialized marine transportation and logistics services on a worldwide basis, operating one of the world’s largest fleets of marine and related equipment. The companys primary services include tanker escort and ship assist; petroleum transportation and sales; contract barge transportation and ocean towing; logistics and support services; marine salvage and emergency response services by CMS; and all-terrain transportation.