Where were the tug boats in Baltimore?

{{ The ship was towed into the river initially, but the tugboats did not accompany the ship all the way to the bridge, said John Konrad, a retired ship captain who runs the gCaptain maritime news website and co-authored a book on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

“The safe thing to do is keep the tugs,” Konrad said. “Moving forward, I think that’s going to happen. The Coast Guard is going to say you’ve got to keep the tugs tied up until you pass the bridge.” }}

You pay for tug boats by the hour. If you can cut them loose 15 minutes early, the savings goes right to Private Equity’s bottom line.



I have not listened to every minute of coverage on this but I have heard enough - and the one thing I have yet to hear addressed is whether or not this thing had an anchor it could deploy. That would seem to have been the easiest and cheapest solution.

Dropping an anchor in a !00,000 ton ship in motion isn’t going to stop it. It’s just going to snap the anchor chain or yank it out of the windlass that reels the chain out.

I’m pretty sure that in New York City the tugboats tie up to large ships approaching the harbor 5 or 10 miles offshore. They don’t get anywhere near the Verrazzano Bridge without being firmly attached to a tugboat.



Maybe not, but I read that it was going 9 miles an hour when it collided. If they had dropped anchor when this issue first started, then perhaps could have slowed the ship to 7 miles an hour, allowing more cars to get off the bridge.

The video you posted a few moments ago specifically stated that they dropped the port side anchor.


There’s another thread running here where someone who appears to be knowledgeable explains quite a bit about the incident, including what was going on with the tug boats.

But, of course, you should know that, since you started that thread, which answers the question raised in this thread.

Would have been nice to keep the info all together in one place.


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Yes. And the expert explained that there was no way dropping the anchor was going to stop the ship.

The ships crew immediately issued a mayday indicating they might hit the bridge. This was about 4 minutes before impact. The Harbor Master was able to get the bridge approaches closed off and all traffic exited the bridge before impact. The was a work crew of 8 men (and I assume 1 or 2 trucks) filling potholes on the bridge, 6 died and 2 were retrieved from the water - one uninjured and the other severely injured.



A sailor’s comments on anchors.

  • Anchors often drag depending on the bottom and the type of anchor used
  • Anchors by themselves are quite useless, they need the weight of a length of chain to function properly. The recommended scope is 7::1, seven times the depth
  • Between scope and the distance required for the anchor to dig itself in, the ship might have been too close to the pylon to ever be effective


Anchoring & Mooring : BoatUS Foundation.

The Captain


My bet is that the Harbor Pilot controlling the boat did all he could:

drop anchor 'cuz it might conceivably maybe slow us down
emergency restart engine (with manifold full open) and pray
reverse propellor
rudder for all your worth in direction knowledge of currents suggests

and probably curse and wish for a coupe of tugs.

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