ATB is Largest Ever to Transit Alaskan Waters

Mike Schuler
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December 16, 2009

Crowley’s petroleum transportation group recently made history, as its 155,000-barrel ATB, Sea Reliance/550-1, became the largest of its kind to have ever transited Alaskan waters.  Under the watchful command of Capt. Scott Murdock, Sea Reliance/550-1 completed a voyage from Martinez, Calif., to Anchorage, Alaska carrying a full load of jet fuel. The journey, which occurred without incident, was met with several weather concerns because of an early start to the winter storm season.

Although other small cargo ATBs have traveled in Alaska, nothing has rivaled the size of the Sea Reliance/550-1, which measures over 600 feet in length.  The ATB can make 12 knots and the sophisticated connection between the tug and barge enables it to move fluidly as one unit in the most adverse seas, thereby providing increased service reliability, not achievable with a conventional tug and barge.

ATBThe Sea Reliance was manned by two captains with 50 years of combined sailing experience. Capt. Scott Murdock served as the primary captain, while Capt. Bill Bart served as the company pilot.

In order to avoid the most extreme seas, the vessel transited through the “inside passage” from the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Cook Inlet and on to Anchorage for final discharge.

Click HERE to download Reliance / 550 Class Articulated Tug-Barges (ATBs) Specifications Sheet

For more information, visit

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