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Foss christens second Arctic-class tug

Jun 7, 2016 09:27 AM

Denise Foss will follow Michele Foss into polar service this summer

Courtesy Foss Maritime

The following is the text of a news release from Foss Maritime:

(SEATTLE) — The second of three Arctic-class tugs, Denise Foss, was christened June 1 at the Foss Waterway Seaport in Tacoma, Wash. Built at the Foss Rainier Shipyard in Oregon, the vessel is designed to operate in the extreme conditions of the far north and will enter service this summer. 

Foss Chief Operating Officer John Parrott made opening remarks. Parrott applauded the hard work and dedication of the people that made the project possible. He also introduced Denise Tabbutt, the vessel's namesake and one of the three sisters who are primary shareholders of Saltchuk, the parent company of Foss Maritime. 
 
Tabbutt spoke at the event and had the honor of breaking the ceremonial bottle of  champagne across the hull of Denise Foss. "It's a proud moment for the people whose vision and leadership inspired the creation of this tugboat class to support our commitment to Alaska and the Arctic," said Tabbutt. "In order to stay relevant in a fast and ever-changing world, it's important we remain committed to our shared values and continue looking for opportunities to better serve our customers. The Arctic-class tugs are the perfect example of this commitment." 

Mike Magill, vice president of Foss' Technical Services, praised the team at the Rainier Shipyard — many were present for the christening — for their commitment to safety, quality and the obvious pride they take in their work. "The Rainier Shipyard is now gone 879 days without a lost time incident," said Magill. "In an industry where far too often injuries and accidents are answered with excuses, the Rainier team has taken responsibility to embrace our safety culture and the results bear this out."    

Denise Foss is ice class D0, meaning the hulls are designed specifically for polar waters and are reinforced to maneuver in ice. The first of the three Arctic tugs, Michele Foss, debuted in 2015 and has performed beyond expectations. Michele Foss led the way in safely pioneering a new route across the North Slope while operating in extreme conditions of first-year ice a meter thick. 

Like Michele, Denise Foss complies with the requirements in the ABS Guide for Building and Classing Vessels Intended to Operate in Polar Waters, including ABS A1 standards, SOLAS and Green Passport. It includes a Caterpillar C280-8 main engine, which complies with the highest federal environmental standards; a Nautican propulsion system; and Reintjes reduction gears. Markey Machinery supplied the tow winch. The tug has a bollard pull of 221,000 pounds.  
 
The vessel incorporates several environmentally focused designs and structural and technological upgrades, including: 

• Elimination of ballast tanks, so there is no chance of transporting invasive species;
• Holding tanks for blackwater and graywater to permit operations in no-discharge zones (such as parts of Alaska and California);
• Hydraulic oil systems compatible with biodegradable oil;
• Energy-efficient LED lighting;
• High-energy absorption Schuyler fendering.

Denise Foss has been designed to withstand the rigors of Arctic operations and is suited to work across the world as Foss competes for opportunities in the oil and gas industry.
 
"The christening ceremony is our way of honoring our history," said Parrott. "The boat sitting behind me represents our future."

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