Tugboat drivers have all the fun it seems. Video by Nick Payne

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  • Damn Yankee

    Suderman Young’s safety compliance guy is going to have a field day with that one! Intentionally tripping a tractor tug. Standing directly in the snapback zone for a line under strain. What appears to be a whole lot of wasting fuel while playing with the boat. Cool video, but I don’t think I’d have put my name on it or released it onto the internets.

    • Nick Payne

      Thank You Capt. Vest!

  • Sandy Smith

    Sure there are some safety factors to consider in the making of this video…..BUT…..how else would the general public ever have the faintist idea what the interaction is between a ship, a tug, and/or a pilot boat.

    Bravo to the creator!

    • Nick Payne

      Thank You.

    • Charlotte Tanner

      I wondered that myself. But yes, an awesome video…

  • NY Metro

    Yeah, yeah, yeah — fun video, and great shot of throwing a line (remember when the line weighed something ? ) . . . but the video certainly could have been done fun, but not stupid. I’d rather sail with “Damn Yankee”. I’d be a lot more sure I would be coming home in one piece at the end of my day or week.

  • Mike

    What is the name of the tug company? I’d like to find out.
    Thanks for any help I can get.


    • Nick Payne

      The name of the tug company I work for is G&H Towing company. They manage Bay Houston towing along with Suderman & Young towing. The additional comments mentioned I will be addressing shortly.

  • Nick Payne

    I wanted to make a statement to address the various comments and concerns about the safety of my crew and my tug. Specifically, to those who do not know me personally.
    I agree with most of your comments about the safety of my crew and workmates. Any good Captain would! Let me first say that I consider my crew to be my friends, and would never endanger their lives in any circumstances – especially just to “get the shot”, I know their wives and I know their children, it is ,after all, my second home.

    If it appeared like a dangerous or precarious situation – then I am a bit humbled, as all of my hard work paid off. We created several different mounts to get shots and most were taken on a 20′- 0″ aluminum pole – if you look closely you can the shadows on the deck in the various shots.The pole proved invaluable, but did add quite a bit of shakiness to the video quality, but that was a simple choice for the safety of anyone involved. I spent over six months shooting, planning and brainstorming to get this video. I certainly hope no-one assumed less?

    A specific comment was made about “intentionally tripping the boat” well, that is nearly impossible on this vessel.

    I know all the parameters needed to perform a powered indirect and again – would never create an unsafe environment for my crew. My safety record can attest to this fact.

    Truth be said, I have a waiting list of men and women waiting to train upon my vessel (simply mentioned to illustrate that crew want on this boat, because we care and we take skill and safety very serious).

    I have a great passion for my industry and my vessel, and simply wanted to share true images and moments of what we do on a daily basis. In many ways, this is also a salute to everyone else out there who knows and loves Z driving.

    Sadly, you can’t please everyone. I genuinely appreciate all of the feedback.


    Nick Payne

    • Kyle Doughty

      Well said Nick. No matter how good you are at something people are always gonna think their better or find some way to fault you. Unfortunately thats the way people are. The video is awesome and gives those of us who work in an office a chance to see something we dont see everyday. Most of us that work for this company know exactly where you stand in it. I wouldn’t even sweat those comments.

      And to the guy who posted about the “crap music” seriously man what grade are you in? If you dont like it turn the freaking volume down.

    • NY Metro

      Well said, and glad you mentioned the camera’s extension pole.

      Yes — never assume, but, it can be a bit confusing, when what is recorded, hmmmmm, differs from the way things are done aboard.

      Kudos for your video efforts and labor.



  • Todd Schwartz

    Nice Work!

  • James E. Andrews

    We at G&H Towing would like to express our support for Captain Payne and the crew of the EVELENA. Nick is historically one of our safest, most competent and most trusted masters. Nothing viewed in this video suggests otherwise. With our engineered hawsers, the incredible maneuverability of our Z-tech class tugs, and the well-honed piloting ability of our operators (which, by the way can only be honed by driving the tug, not sitting pierside) this video is a testament to the hard-working, incredibly skilled and ultimately safe folks we employ. We at G&H have adhered to a Safety Management System since 2005, and frankly, Captain Payne is one of its most ardent adherents. A stroll about the decks of his tug on any given day should be enough to convince the skeptical.

    Some people start wanting to drive ships, become tempted by the money being thrown at offshore vessel operations to sit in a chair looking at a readout and lose their souls in the process. We’re looking for people who want to be the best ship drivers and ship engineers, period. If anyone wants to sign up and learn to operate & maintain a tug like in the video, drop us a line. May not be the piles of cash like at some other places, but there is something to be said for being a master of your trade. It takes about 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert, don’t you want to get started? Your training aboard the EVELENA awaits.

    James E. Andrews,
    DPA/Director of Personnel, Safety and Compliance

  • Cheri Stine

    Fantastic video! These guys are seriously SKILLED – they make controlling their tugs and handling those massive ships, look easy, because they are that good. I have zero doubt about their professionalism and rule/law following!

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