Page 42: of Marine News Magazine (October 2010)

Annual World Yearbook

Read this page in Pdf, Flash or Html5 edition of October 2010 Marine News Magazine

42 MN October 2010

I left the Theresa Wood and her tow at Lock 10 in

Gutenberg, Wis. on the upper Mississippi River. My AEP

River Operations contact, Sharon Tharp, who had picked me up at the St. Louis airport and delivered me to the boat five days earlier, was again waiting by the company SUV.

By afternoon we had driven to Pekin, Ill. to meet the

Thomas E. Erickson, which I would ride down the Illinois

River until I was once again on the Mississippi.

Even though Pekin is a small, blue-collar town, the kind of town Bruce Springsteen would sing about, finding the tug company that was to deliver me to the Thomas E.

Erickson wasn’t easy. After driving up and down one of the roads running along the banks of the Illinois River, we stopped at a gas station to ask for directions. One man told us he had no idea about any tug company, but we should speak to his friend who knew every person and

A Day in the Life of a Towboater ... Part III:

Old Salts

Last August MarineNews’ Raina Clark began the story of her eight day trip on the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers on the towboats Theresa Wood and Thomas E. Erickson, both chartered by AEP River Operations and owned by Marquette Transportation. To date we’ve examined the working lives of the crew, how the relationship between the boats and the lock facilities has changed since 9/11, a river boat captain who built his crew into a tightly knit team and the uniqueness of the Upper Mississippi. In this final installment, we relay the experience of a first time towboater, the tales of a salty captain and being held up on the river waiting on failing infrastructure.

Story & Photos by Raina Clark & New


A view of the Issaquena as the Thomas E. Erickson held its position alongside and waited in a line-up of towing vessels to pass through the Melvin Price Locks.

Marine News

Marine News is the premier magazine of the North American Inland, coastal and Offshore workboat markets.