Western Towboat Founder Passes Away

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

August 21, 2018

(Photo courtesy of Western Towboat)

(Photo courtesy of Western Towboat)

Robert “Bob” Shrewsbury, founder of Seattle-based tug and barge services provider Western Towboat, has passed away at the age of 94.

Shrewsbury started Western Towboat along Ballard’s waterfront in 1948, operating with just one small tug the, ND Tobey, and working in the early days as business agent, captain and engineer.

Today, the family owned company is run by Shrewsbury’s son, Bob Jr., with grandchildren Russell, Ross and Kristin, and has grown its fleet to 22 tugs and seven barges. The company's tugs, with signature blue stacks and yellow and white houses, operate from Puget Sound to the Aleutian Islands, from Arctic Alaska to the Hawaiian Islands and the Panama Canal.

“Bob Sr. was 94 and had a great life, great friends and most of all left a great company of people and tugs in his wake as he crossed the final bar. He will be greatly missed but his memory and legacy will live on in Puget Sound for a long time to come,” the company said in a statement.

“As a family we are proud and glad we get to carry on his tradition of a solid work ethic, fairness to customers, and a great appreciation of the great people who make this company what it is. The work everyone does in and off the boats here at Western Towboat is a direct reflection of his values and standards, and it shows every day when people see our equipment.”

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