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Crowley Z-Drive Tug Vigilant Christened in Alaska

(Homer, Alaska.; April 24, 2008) – Crowley Maritime Corporation’s Z-Drive tugboat Vigilant, providing an added measure of safety and environmental protection for tankers entering and leaving the Tesoro Alaska Company’s Nikiski refinery in Cook Inlet, was christened on Monday in Homer, Alaska.

During the afternoon ceremony, Dori Hansen, wife of Steve Hansen, the manager of Tesoro’s Kenai, Alaska refinery, christened the Vigilant. More than 60 people, including five Alaska state representatives, attended the celebration. Among the Crowley contingent at the event were Rocky Smith, senior vice president and general manager, Pacific/Alaska Region; Bruce Harland, vice president of Alaska services; and Steve Orr, marine superintendent of petroleum distribution.

“We are making this investment for Tesoro Alaska because positioning a tractor tug at Nikiski on a year-round basis is an additional enhancement to our safety and environmental programs,” said Captain Tim Plummer, President of Tesoro Maritime. “It is a major new commitment to the community, our employees, the State, Coast Guard and marine vessels and barges, of the emphasis we place on safety and the environment.” 

Crowley’s contract services business in Cook Inlet chartered the tug from BayDelta Maritime, Inc. Built by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Inc., in Langley, Wash., the Vigilant is the second tug acquired by Crowley in the last year for use in its Pacific Northwest and Alaska operations.

While the Vigilant looks very similar to its sister tug Valor, which Crowley acquired last year, the 100-foot boat has been modified for use in the harsh Alaskan waters. The hull was strengthened for use in ice, and boasts a 3/8-inch belt of steel along the hull, which adds 2.7 additional tons of steel to the boat. The vessel’s decks are also heated, along with some of the tanks, for added protection and improved winter operation.

“We are pleased to provide Tesoro with not only this technologically advanced tug but with our experienced and safety-minded crews,” Harland said. “At Crowley, we are committed to protecting lives, property and safeguarding Alaska’s rich natural resources in Cook Inlet.”

The Vigilant also boasts several other noteworthy features including 6770 horsepower engines, a bollard pull in excess of 75 tons, and a speed of 14 knots. The horsepower ratings are among the highest among Z-drive tugs, with 75.49 metric tons forward and 75.30 metric tons astern. 

Tesoro, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is one of the largest independent refining companies in the United States and produces a full range of petroleum products including gasoline, jet, diesel, heavy fuel oils, liquefied petroleum gas, liquid asphalt, naphtha, propane and butane. Tesoro operates seven refineries and has a combined crude oil capacity of approximately 660,000 barrels per day.

Crowley has provided various marine, petroleum distribution, and energy support services in Alaska since 1953, and today has offices and operations throughout the state.

Jacksonville-based Crowley Maritime Corporation, founded in San Francisco in 1892, is a privately held family and employee-owned company that provides diversified transportation and logistics services in domestic and international markets by means of six operating lines of business: Puerto Rico/Caribbean Liner Services, Latin America Liner Services, Logistics Services, Petroleum Services, Marine Services and Technical Services. Offered within these operating lines of business are the following services: liner container shipping, logistics, contract towing and transportation; ship assist and escort; energy support; salvage and emergency response; vessel management; vessel construction and naval architecture; government services, and petroleum and chemical transportation, distribution and sales. Additional information about Crowley its subsidiaries and business units may be found on the Internet at

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