October 22, 2015


The 16th annual Towing Vessel Safety Seminar, sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard and Virginia Maritime Association, proved to be both instructional and entertaining, with one highlight being a helicopter rescue demonstration.

The Vane Brothers tugboat Alexander Duff took a position in the Elizabeth River, just outside the Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center where the seminar took place, and held steady while a rescue basket was lowered from a Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter.

The hoisting scenario was a simulated medical evacuation of a sick or injured crewmember. As the helicopter sent gusting winds straight down on the tugboat’s deck, a member of the Coast Guard who had been “planted” on the vessel was smoothly pulled upwards to safety.

The October 22 safety seminar drew more than 100 attendees, with Vane Brothers General Manager Mason Keeter serving as emcee. Along with hearing informational talks on subjects that ranged from licensing applications to the Maritime Transportation Safety Act, some attendees also participated in the seventh annual Tugboatman’s Challenge, a hotly contested crewmember competition comprised of various tests of skill in a relay-type format.

For more information, contact Blaise Willig at bwillig@vanebrothers.com

About Vane Brothers
The Vane Brothers Company has served the maritime industry in the Port of Baltimore and along the U.S. Eastern Seaboard since 1898, providing a wide range of maritime services. Today, the company has a fleet of nearly 150 tugboats and barges working out of seven locations: the ports of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Norfolk, Charleston, Savannah and Jacksonville.