ASI launched its 2021 Commercial Diving program in BC earlier last week by assisting with the docking of a 100 year old tugboat, the S.S. Master, at Seaspan’s Shipyards in North Vancouver. ASI’s commercial divers provided the underwater services needed for docking and securing this important piece of West Coast marine history.
The S.S. Master is a wood hulled steam tugboat. She turns 100 years old next year and as a matter of maritime heritage preservation, will be receiving maintenance and restoration work over the next couple of weeks. The “S.S. Master Centenary Project” plans to completely restore the historical Tug before her birthday celebration in 2022.
The Importance of Tugboats
Tugboats have had the responsibility of towing barges, bulk carriers, freighters and more along the west coast for more than 100 years. They have the important role of maneuvering other vessels into position by pulling or pushing them where they need to go.
Prominent British Columbia builder Arthur Moscrop built the Steam Ship Master in 1922. She is still close to her original design today. In fact, this tug is the last remaining steam tugboat still operating with her original steam engine built in 1916 (a Royal Navy World War I surplus engine). A rare thing indeed, since many steam tugs were converted to diesel power once that form of power gained popularity in the commercial marine industry.
This special Tug has its own preservation society and to find more information about its rich history you can visit the website ssmaster.org.
ASI is proud to have played a role in supporting the work needed to preserve and protect the S.S. Master into her future.