Texas Gas Transmission Executive Honored At Towboat Christening

The motor vessel Bob Koch, a new 4,200-horsepower towboat in the Inland Waterways Services Division of Texas Gas Transmission Corporation, was recently christened in ceremonies at the Owensboro, Ky., riverfront.

The vessel, with unique features that will enable it to serve as an icebreaker when rivers are frozen, is named to honor Robert 0. Koch, executive vice president and general counsel of Texas Gas Transmission Corporation and chairman of the company's Gas Transmission Services Division.

The highlight of the traditional ceremonies came when Mrs. Robert O. Koch broke a bottle of champagne over a capstan on the forward deck of the vessel and officially named it in honor of her husband.

The motor vessel Bob Koch is a true towboat, in that it is designed to pull barges as well as push them, a feature that facilitates continuous operations in adverse weather conditions, including ice, while minimizing the risk of possible damage to the tow. The unusually heavy construction of the vessel's hull plate, rudders and shafts aid in icebreaking operations. A doublebottomed engine room gives extra protection from heavy grounding damage.

The special capabilities of the Bob Koch will frequently be put to use on the Illinois River, a vital service link to Chicago, which historically freezes over every two or three years and which has been ice-bound during each of the last two severe winters.

Powered by two four-cycle engines of 2,100 horsepower each, the Bob Koch is capable of moving tows of 22,500 tons or more of cargo. Like all vessels in the company's Inland Waterways Services Division, it features the most modern in navigation, shipcontrol, and c o m m u n i c a t i o ns equipment to assure safe and efficient operation and maximum productivity. All quarters and enclosed working areas of the 150- foot by 35-foot vessel are airconditioned for the comfort of the crew. The Bob Koch was built by Jeffboat, Inc., and will see service in the fleet of American Commercial Lines, Inc., both units of Texas Gas's Inland Waterways Services Division.

Other stories from December 1978 issue


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