The waters of North Puget Sound are now under even greater environmental protection since Crowley’s ship assist and escort services group deployed its newest tug named Response to escort and assist oil tankers there. The swift, powerful tug was christened at noon Friday, August 2nd, at Pier 66 in Elliott Bay
and will be put into service shortly hereafter.
Under brilliant sunny skies, Deicy Mathur, wife of Anil Mathur, President of the Alaska Tanker Company, LLC, performed the christening ceremony aboard the Response. Over 300 invited guests and the news media had the opportunity to tour the boat. Two other Crowley tugs joined in the ceremony by blowing their horns alerting other passing vessels to do the same.
A team of Crowley engineers and architects designed the Response, with input from Crowley’s ship assist and escort customer, Alaska Tanker Company. Marco Shipyard built
the tug in Seattle.
Tom Crowley, Jr., Chairman, President and CEO of Crowley Maritime thanked everyone for their role in the tug's design and construction.
"I'm proud to say that this vessel was designed in the Northwest, built in the Northwest and will operate in the Northwest," said Crowley.
During tanker escorts Crowley tugs are tethered to, or shadow, tankers in the event braking or steering assistance is needed. Last year, Crowley tugs in Valdez, Alaska stopped a tanker that was in danger of colliding with a fishing boat that had its nets set across the shipping channel.
Effectively slamming the brakes on a tanker requires a powerful, well designed tug like the Response, which, at 130 ft. in length and 7,200-horsepower, can provide enough indirect force to get the job done quickly and safely.
The Response features twin Voith Schneider 32G II/250 cycloidal propellers, powered by two Caterpillar 3608 DITA engines, and a unique high lift and streamlined hull designed to meet the indirect forces and speed requirements of the tankers operating in Puget Sound. The hull is derived from a design for the tug Boxer and was developed by Bukser og Berging, Norway. It is also equipped with full fire fighting capabilities and can carry 2,800 of foam concentrate.
Response is 129.5 ft. long, 45.67 ft. wide and 24.75 ft. deep. It is designed to generate direct bollard pull of 150,000 pounds and indirect forces in excess of 340,000 pounds at 12 knots.
The Response is fitted with a Markey Model DESS-52 High Performance single-drum electric Hawser winch designed specifically for this vessel. The winch will hold 1,000 ft. of 10-in. circumference AmSteel Blue high molecular weight polyethylene line with an average strength of over one million pounds. This main line will be able to be hauled in at pressures of over twice the bollard pull of the boat’s engines, a condition that can occur when escorting tankers at high speed.
“The winch is the only one in existence designed especially for this boat,” said Todd Busch, Director of Sales for Crowley’s ship assist and escort services. “Its ability to haul in line under load is unsurpassed.”
Crowley has put 13 newly built tractor type tugs into service during the past 4 years. These tugs represent the newest technology in tanker escort and ship assist. The Response incorporates some of the best design features of the Boxer, along with the proven capabilities of the recently built Crowley tugs.
“Our customers are anxious to see the Response operating in Puget Sound,” Busch said. “Its features will add a measure of safety while escorting tankers on the open water and when assisting them in and out of berths.”