TIDEWATER NEWS AND VIDEOS
CURRENT INDUSTRY NEWS:
2023 LOCK CLOSURE DATES:
March 4, 2023: All locks on the Lower Columbia and Lower Snake Rivers are scheduled to close at 0600.
March 18, 2023: Bonneville, The Dalles, John Day, McNary, and Lower Monumental Dams will reopen at 2359.
March 25, 2023: Little Goose and Lower Granite Dam will reopen at 2359.
TBD: Ice Harbor Lock and Dam reopening date will be confirmed in the coming weeks.
CURRENT TIDEWATER NEWS:
MARAD AWARDS TIDEWATER $4.2 MILLION TO EXPAND BARGE SERVICE
Vancouver, WA – The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced an award of $4,168,759 for Tidewater Barge Lines, Inc. to acquire equipment that will expand regional barge service on the Columbia River. Combined with nearly $2 million in matching funds from Tidewater, the grant will provide two new low and zero emission cranes that will enable the loading of additional solid waste containers on barges for shipment from southwest Washington to eastern Oregon.
Click HERE to read the MARAD award press release.
Ninety years ago, Tidewater helped pioneer commercial transportation on the upper Columbia and Snake Rivers and opened up one of the nation’s most isolated regions (referred to as the “Inland Empire”) to the markets of the world. It began with Lew Russell, Sr., who became interested in the river transportation of industrial commodities and began renting steam-powered sternwheeler ships to move customer products from port to port. Throughout the ensuing years, Lew set the framework for the river’s largest tug and barge company. Ten years later, in 1942, the Tidewater – Shaver Transportation Company was established, then in 1960, the company became independent under the name Tidewater Barge Lines. In 1956, Lew Russell, Jr. assumed active management of Tidewater until 1977 when longtime Tidewater chief engineer, Ray Hickey, became president.
Today, Tidewater is the largest and most experienced inland marine barge transportation provider west of the Mississippi River, handling approximately 85% of the waterborne cargo transiting through the locks and dams of the Columbia Snake River (CSR) System. Operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Tidewater’s services on the CSR system link shippers, ports, and Pacific Northwest communities to the global market, while providing quality family sustaining jobs that add to the region’s economic strength. Tidewater also prides itself on stewardship of the rivers on which they operate.
The company is headquartered in Vancouver, Washington, and operates five strategically located terminals - Boardman and Umatilla, Oregon; Pasco, Vancouver, and Wilma, Washington. Tidewater’s fleet includes 14 towboats, several which have been repowered with new diesel engines, and 160 barges.
Click HERE to watch Tidewater's 90th Anniversary Video!
RIVER SYSTEM AND INDUSTRY WEBSITES
TIDEWATER PRESS RELEASES
TIDEWATER ANNOUNCES AARON DEGODNY AS NEW VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER
Vancouver, WA – October 14, 2020
Tidewater Transportation and Terminals, the largest barge transportation and terminal network on the Columbia-Snake River system, recently added Aaron Degodny as its new Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer.
“Aaron is an extremely accomplished executive who brings to Tidewater a unique skillset and an ability to develop high-value strategies and high-performing teams. His innovative insights will help us grow our core tug and terminaling business, as well as unlock new opportunities,” said Todd Busch, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tidewater Transportation and Terminal. “Thank you to the team at Upper Bay Infrastructure Partners for their remarkable professional support in bringing Aaron to Tidewater.”
Degodny will focus on establishing strategic partnerships in new markets, expanding and strengthening client relationships, and extending the regional and global footprint of Tidewater.
“I quickly learned that people are at the heart of this great and dynamic business,” said Degodny.
TIDEWATER ANNOUNCES JOHAN SPERLING AS NEW VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Vancouver, WA – September 9, 2020
Tidewater Transportation and Terminals welcomes Johan Sperling as Tidewater’s new Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Sperling will have direct oversight and responsibility for the Maintenance and Engineering Department, Vessel Operations, Dispatch and Terminal Operations. Additionally, he will work closely with Tidewater Environmental Services and Tidewater’s Canadian entity, Island Tug and Barge, to support their efforts for safe and reliable operations.
“Over the last several months we have been working to position Tidewater for the future, bringing together our sales, services, and operational functions to execute our strategy,” stated Todd Busch, Tidewater’s President and CEO. “We are fortunate to have someone with Johan’s marine engineering and shipyard knowledge and global commercial experience joining our team. His leadership will prove critical as we support and build the infrastructure needed to drive Tidewater towards a stronger future.”
Before joining Tidewater, Sperling was the Vice President, Marine Services for the Crowley Shipping Group.
TIDEWATER ANNOUNCES TODD BUSCH AS NEW PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Vancouver, WA – January 15, 2020
The Board of Directors announced today that it has selected Todd Busch as the company’s new President and Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors effective January 16, 2020. Busch will succeed Bob Curcio who is retiring and has served as President and CEO since 2013.
Mr. Busch has over three decades of senior and executive leadership experience with Crowley Marine Corporation, last serving as Senior Vice President and General Manager in Jacksonville, Florida. The breadth of Mr. Busch’s broad-based expertise includes maritime operations, naval architecture, logistics, M&A and strategic planning.
“We are pleased to select Todd as our new President and CEO and member of the Board of Directors,” commented Michael Lundin, Chairman of Tidewater’s board. “Todd is a proven and seasoned industry veteran.”
“Todd possesses a clear understanding of what Tidewater represents as far as a continuing commitment to safety, environmental compliance, and value-added service to our customers and partners,” mentioned Marietta Moshiashvili, Managing Partner and co-founder of Upper Bay Infrastructure Partners.
UPPER BAY LEADS INVESTOR GROUP FOR THE ACQUISTION OF TIDEWATER TRANSPORTATION AND TERMINALS
Vancouver, WA – February 20, 2019
Upper Bay Infrastructure Partners (“Upper Bay”), Ullico, funds and accounts under management by BlackRock, Silverfern, and certain other co-investors (collectively, the “Investor Group”) are pleased to announce that they have acquired Tidewater Transportation & Terminals (“Tidewater”) from Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners (“Stonepeak”).
Tidewater, founded in 1932, has evolved into a multi-commodity transportation and terminal company serving the diverse and evolving transportation needs of the Pacific Northwest. Headquartered in Vancouver, WA, the company’s operating area spans 465 miles on the Columbia and Snake River system extending from the Port of Astoria on the Oregon coast to the inland Port of Lewiston in Idaho.
In 2014, Tidewater acquired Vancouver-based West Coast Marine Cleaning, adding industrial cleaning, containment and disposal to their services in the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, Tidewater acquired Island Tug and Barge in 2017. Headquartered in Burnaby, British Columbia, Island Tug and Barge is the West Coast’s largest bulk transporter of refined petroleum products.
CREW OF TIDEWATER'S TUGBOAT "RYAN POINT" SAVES TWO LIVES ON THE COLUMBIA
Vancouver, WA – September 11, 2018
The downstream current was as expected, but the two to three foot swells and 30 mph wind gusts in the Columbia River channel (mile marker 288) was a tad unusual during that clear, mid-September evening. Long-time Tidewater captain, Josh Burrows, kept a watchful eye on the horizon and a steady hand on his steering instruments. The six o’clock (1800 military) watch change on the Ryan Point was less than a half hour away. Whiffs of the homemade dinner had quickened the pace of crewmembers preparing for their upcoming shift, and was greeting the on-duty crew ready for a welcome break.
On that Tuesday, September 11, nearly 1,000 feet off the Ryan Point’s starboard bow, Captain Burrows noticed something curious. After closer look, Captain Burrows saw that it was a small overturned boat with two people clinging to the sides. Pilot Riley Wyatt was drinking his coffee in the galley and Deck Mechanics (DM) Ken Marvel and Billy Pike were grabbing a bite to eat when they noticed the Ryan Point had slowed down significantly. The crew was able to make out the boat rather quickly and sounded the man overboard alarm. Work vests were donned and the team headed out to the deck to assess the situation. Using VHF radios, the crew was able to communicate with Captain Burrows in the wheelhouse - allowing him to maneuver the stern of the tug within throwing distance for the life rings.
TIDEWATER'S "CROWN POINT' ISSUED FIRST USCG'S CERTIFICATE OF INSPECTION ON THE WEST COAST
Tidewater Transportation and Terminals of Vancouver, Washington, today announced that the Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance and the Coast Guard Sector Columbia River has issued a Certificate of Inspection (COI) to the towing vessel Crown Point for compliance under the United States Coast Guard’s (USCG) Subchapter M - safety regulations governing the inspection, standards and safety management systems of towing vessels. This COI is the first issued to a west coast (PACAREA) tugboat/towboat operator.
The Crown Point is the first of three custom-built, state-of-the-art river towboats built for Tidewater in 2015. Measuring 102’x38’x14’ with 2,240 BHP, the Crown Point was specifically designed and built for the Columbia-Snake River system, and incorporates many advanced concepts to set new standards in safety and efficiency.
“We operate under a safety management system that puts the health and safety of the public, our environment, and our employees first,” explained Bill Collins, Director of Environmental, Health, Safety and Security (EHS&S). “All of our tugs meet or exceed the increasingly stringent industry requirements for towing vessels.”
TIDEWATER TRANSPORTATION AND TERMINALS CHRISTENS TWO STATE-OF-THE-ART TOWBOATS
Granite Point and Ryan Point, which are the newest inland river towboats in Tidewater Transportation and Terminals’ fleet, were christened Saturday, June 11, during a late afternoon ceremony at Vancouver Landing in Vancouver, Washington. After Deacon Tim Dooley from Portland’s Holy Family Parish delivered a blessing, Patty Reed, wife of Bruce Reed, Tidewater’s Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, and Diane Laya, wife of Marc Schwartz, Tidewater’s Maintenance and Engineering Manager, broke champagne bottles over the vessels’ hull while the City of Vancouver’s fire boat sprayed Columbia River water in the background.
Joining the Tidewater team for the bottle-breaking moment were 49th District Washington State Senator Annette Cleveland, 49th District Washington State Representative Jim Moeller, Vancouver City Councilman Ty Stober, David Hodges and Bryan Stebbins from US Senator (WA) Patty Murray’s office, Dena Horton from US Senator (WA) Maria Cantwell’s office, Megan McKibben from US Representative (OR) Kurt Schrader’s office, and Shari Hildreth from US Representative (WA) Jamie Herrera Beutler’s office.
TIDEWATER TRANSPORTATION AND TERMINALS CHRISTENS FIRST OF THREE NEW STATE-OF-THE-ART TOWBOATS, THE CROWN POINT
VANCOUVER, WA - Tidewater and Vigor project managers, clients, employees and guests gathered Saturday, June 27, 2015, to christen the Crown Point.
Festivities began at 2:30pm with speeches from Kale Kramer - Vigor Director of Manufacturing, Bob Curcio - Tidewater CEO, Marc Schwartz - Tidewater Maintenance and Engineering Manager, Steve Isaacson with Fifth Third Equipment Finance, and Frank Foti - Vigor CEO.
“It takes the commitment of one heck of a lot of people to build these tugs,” stated Curcio. “First we have to think of our clients; their business enables us to be here today. Special thanks also to our crewmen, captains, pilots, and deck mechanics. Those individuals have served with pride and integrity that has served our clients for many, many years. We also need to thank our maintenance guys and terminal operators who keep things running behind the scenes.”
Marc Schwartz expressed gratitude to all the individuals who diligently worked behind and, on the scenes, CT Marine designers, Noise Control Engineers, Vigor Project Manager Dick Gaston, Tidewater Port Captain Brian Fletcher and Assistant Port Captains Josh Burrows and Josh Nichols.
TIDEWATER TUG CREWS RESCUE BOATERS IN TWO SEPARATE INCIDENTS ON THE COLUMBIA AND SNAKE RIVERS
Vancouver, WA – September 16, 2014 – Tidewater vessel crews were first responders and paramount in the successful rescue of four boaters in two separate incidents on September 9, 2014.
Two Tribal fishermen were unhurt Sept. 9, after their fishing boat overturned on the Columbia River just east of Stevenson, WA. At approximately 1:15 a.m., Todd Takalo, piloting the Tidewater tug Maverick, spotted a flashing white light in the water. Upon inspection, Mr. Takalo, along with Deck Mechanic Ryan Jones, discovered that the light was coming from an overturned fishing boat with two men on top of the vessel. The Captain, Chris Patnode, who was not on duty at the time, was immediately notified of the situation and quickly joined Ryan Jones on deck to ready man overboard equipment.
In 35 mph winds and 4 foot swells, Pilot Todd Takalo navigated the tug as gently as possible over to the vessel in distress. The crew on deck were able to retrieve the two men and pull them aboard the Maverick where they were taken in to the galley to dry off and warm up. The fishermen said they had been stranded in the water on top of their vessel for over 45 minutes. Their fishing boat was unable to be towed or salvaged. The Maverick’s crew made contact with another Tribal fishing vessel in the area who picked the men up and took them to shore.
HIGH WIDE HEAVY CORRIDOR COALITION
Shipping from Asia through Columbia River ports saves shippers time and money. Shorter transit times and minimal handling means less stress on loads; fewer cargo preparation requirements and insurance; and reduced damage to high-value cargo and equipment.
Establish a multi-modal route that allows importers and exporters to efficiently move cargo to and from North America through our Columbia River ports.
Create economic opportunities for the Columbia River region and the greater Pacific Northwest.
Coordinate regulatory reform and infrastructure improvements by engaging members of the transportation committees of Pacific Northwest states.