Monday, September 3, 2007

James Dunlap

In the top picture you can see the James Dunlap behind the much smaller Saratoga. James Dunlap carries a crew of 3 that live on-board for their entire 75 day work rotation. It is 101 feet long powered by two 2000 horse diesels with Z-Drives that allow it to turn in any direction and basically spin circles in place if it wants to - it also has an auto pilot system that keeps the vessel stationary with no operator input. When actively towing, it burns over 200 gallons per hour - at one point when we were pulling the freighter away from the dock at full throttle we were burning 4 gallons a minute.

The lower picture shows one half of the engine room showing one of the main engines and part of the auxiliary power generators. The engine room, like the entire vessel, was spotless. The captain had us wash our feet off immediately after boarding to keep from tracking anything. In the top photo, left hand side, you can see Haystack Hill and part of the Alyeska dock across the channel. With it parked within view all the time, is it any wonder I had become fond of this tug?

The James Dunlap was on scene when the Selendang Ayu freighter ran aground on Unalaska Island and broke in half back in 2004 but was unable to attach a tow rope due to the extreme conditions and no way to fire a messenger line to the freighter to attach a tow rope, a feature that has since been added. You can read about National Transportation Safety Board's description of the grounding - which included a crashed rescue helicopter and the loss of six lives - here . There are 79 photos from the Daily News showing scenes from the grounding, including the crew of the James Dunlap here . And finally, there is a good description of the mechanical systems and a photo on the Dunlap Towing website here.

1 comment:

Amara said...

You write very well.