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Crowley Announces Construction of a New Tug and Barge for Alaska Service


(SEATTLE; December 17, 2003) Crowley Maritime Corporation announced today that it is constructing a new purpose-built tug and combination tank and deck cargo barge to be used in Alaska. The units were designed by Crowley’s Vessel Management Services and are being built by Dakota Creek Shipyards in Anacortes, Washington.

The 76-foot tug, which is scheduled for completion in early 2004, is designed for both shallow draft operations and ocean towing. It has a raised bridge for heightened visibility, a tow winch for coastal towing and fendered knees to allow it to operate in the push mode. It will be powered by three diesel engines totaling 1,350 HP. The tug design also incorporates environmentally friendly features such as engines that meet stringent emissions requirements, holding tanks to retain treated waste water, electric deck machinery and fuel tanks surrounded by void spaces to minimize the chance of spills.

Its shallow draft design is important for transporting cargo to remote areas of Alaska, where shallow waters and lack of port or dock facilities are common. In that operating environment, vessels are often required to land on the beach for loading and unloading of cargo.

The barge, which is 180 feet long by 52 feet wide, is expected to be complete by June. It is designed for handling deck cargo and transporting about 12,000 barrels of refined petroleum products. It is double-hulled with coated cargo tanks for superior environmental and cargo integrity protection. The deck cargo area features a containment fence, hydraulic deck crane and portable cargo ramps. The barge will carry dedicated oil spill response equipment and can be operated in either a push mode or as a towed unit.

Crowley’s Vessel Management Services group is headquartered in Seattle. They design, engineer, construct and own vessels. Their mission is to provide technologically advanced equipment to serve the needs of the industry in general and Crowley in particular. Over the years, VMS has built some of the most advanced tractor tugs and articulated tug-barges (ATBs) in the world, which are now deployed by Crowley on the West Coast and in Alaska.

Oakland-based Crowley Maritime Corp., 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 transportation and distribution services.. Additional information about Crowley, its subsidiaries and business units may be found on the Internet at

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