The Great Lakes Group


It’s Good Seamanship to Take a Tug

Jeff Stabler has lived by the standards of the master mariner for over 20 years — everywhere from the Arabian Sea, to the Red Sea, to the Caribbean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, and now on the Great Lakes. As Fleet Captain of The Great Lakes Towing Company, Stabler ensures that his tug crews provide the best and safest service.

“We want our Captains and their crews to have the confidence they need to get through any situation. That’s why we are on time, and don’t delay our customers. And we do that time and time again, without cutting any corners. That’s how we operate 100% of the time.”

The tugs operated by the Towing Company have the longest running history for safety and dependability, while providing critical and essential services to Lakers and Salties in ports throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway system.  The Towing Company’s network of tugs are stationed in 11 ports, and serve more than 40 ports and harbors across all eight Great Lakes states.

“It’s added insurance to take a tug.”

With over 15 groundings, marine causalities, and steering failures in the past three years, it’s good seamanship to take a tug. Ship assistance provides an added level of safety and security for the captain and owner of the vessel. Not only is it safe, it’s smart. Taking a tug decreases the chance of ships becoming involved in a marine causality, such as running aground or hitting a dock. It’s added insurance to take a tug. Don’t leave your port without one.

“Add our years of experience  together.”

According to Stabler:

“The expertise of the vessel’s captain is not the problem, they have the experience.  It’s the capability or limitations of their vessel that can reduce their abilities. Even with a bow or stern thruster, they might not be able to operate safely and effectively in severe conditions or even shallow water without a tug. That’s where we can assist most, and add our years of experience together with the vessel captain’s to create a plan and help maneuver the vessel safely. But even in good conditions, it’s just good seamanship to take a tug. You never know what could happen. The smallest mistake or unanticipated circumstances could have devastating consequences. We help the captain decrease the chance of that happening.”

Utilizing a Full-Service Lakes-Wide Towing Contract with the Towing Company provides added insurance. It’s an added level of safety and seamanship to protect your crew, equipment, and the environment; wherever your vessel may call on the Great Lakes.