Curiosity About The Life Of A Towboat Crew

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Towboat 31219” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the page.

The morning sun is climbing high as I stopped by the Kanawha River for a few minutes of peaceful contemplation. Above me the large trucks are shifting gears as they slow down for the stoplight on the Chelyan bridge. I stopped here for two reasons. One, to catch a few breaths on the water’s edge and to look for a photo op. It wasn’t long before one of the Towboats came powering upstream. For me time on the river is a way of getting out of the office chair and enjoying life as God intended. But for the crew of a towboat the river is their office. It’s kinda surprising to me that I never considered a job as a deckhand since I like being on the river. I have to admit that I don’t really know much about the job. I presume there’s much more to it than waiting to reach the delivery point. As I understand it the boat is their home and that they’re on duty for long hours. I’m told that it’s as dangerous as being an underground miner. Not only is there a danger of falling into swift current but there’s stories about people slipping into a void in the payload of coal and being burried alive. However I do find the idea of traveling down the Kanawha River to the Ohio River and beyond interesting. Aside from the actual work that goes along the river jobs the views they have of spots seldom seen from the highway must be amazing if they have time to see them.

As the towboat maneuvers itself into position to accomplish the task at hand I am thankful for the work ethic of people in the coal industry. The fuel they provide not only keeps the lights on but also becomes the steel and aluminum in our infrastructure.

I’m also interested in the stories that a towboat crew might have. So if you’re reading this and happen to work on one these boats I’d love to hear about your memories in the comments section below.

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4 thoughts on “Curiosity About The Life Of A Towboat Crew

  1. I work for The River Transportation Div of AEP. Our vessels have a nine person crew (one is a cook). They rotate out every 21 days. So they work on 21 days and then have 21 days off.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The length of the Ohio. We used to have quite a few more boats but sold the commercial side. Our division office back then was in St Louis. I made the drive out twice for training.

        I work with the maintenance group. It’s interesting seeing the big boats (6000hp) when they are raised out of the water on dry docks. The size of their propellers is impressive.

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