The Great Lakes Group


“You can’t ask for a better job than being a Tug Captain.”

Tradition is in our bones at Great Lakes Towing, but for Tug Captain and 27-year maritime veteran James “Chip” Walsh it’s also in his blood. As a third generation tugman, Walsh remembers watching his Dad, James “Nick” Walsh, at work and seeing his future.

“I never thought of doing anything else once I saw what my father did for a living. I always knew I wanted to be a Tug Captain one day.”

He learned his craft working side by side with his father aboard G-Tugs. “We had a lot of fun working together,” says Walsh, “I learned a lot from my Dad. He taught me that it’s never just a tow – incidents can happen fast. You can bring the same boat in the same slip 10 times – but it’s always different. Having a contract with The Great Lakes Towing Company – having a tug waiting for you when you arrive – it’s added protection that’s there when you need it most.”

But to Capt Walsh, family extends beyond his lineage and into the Port where he works. “The Port of Milwaukee is its own community. The people here – we’re like family. We all look out for each other.”

For Walsh, the love of the job is about the connection he feels with his fellow tugmen and the passion he feels for helping ships conduct their business safely. “I love the challenge that the job brings. My Dad always told me to practice often and work hard. Over my career, that hard work has paid off. There is nothing like the satisfaction of a job well done.”

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.

Photo Credit: Eric Gust