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Aboard Seabulk’s new Rotortug in the Mobile River

Article by Ken Hocke on JANUARY 26, 2017 for

I arrived at the gates of the Port of Mobile (Ala.) early Tuesday morning, where I was to meet officials from Seabulk Towing. Security at the port had tightened since the last time I was there several years ago. I was told to go to the port police department building to wait for Chris Pittman, Seabulk’s operations manager in Mobile, and Tony Caggiano, Seabulk’s senior marketing manager, in from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Caggiano had extended an invitation to me to come to Mobile to check out the Trident, the first of three new 98’6″x43’6″x15’7″ Robert Allan-designed Advanced Rotortugs (ART) for Seabulk. Built at Master Boat Buildersdown the road from Mobile in Bayou La Batre, Ala., the Trident represents the first time the Rotortug, which features triangular propulsion to enhance maneuverability, will be used in the U.S.

While I waited, police officials asked if I would be driving on port property. When I said yes, they asked for my driver’s license and proof of insurance. Pittman and Caggiano arrived minutes later, and I was given the necessary credentials to be on port property. “You’ll get your license back when you turn in your credentials,” the officer behind the glass said.