Tug captain Perry Felarise brought three decades of tug experience with him when he joined Dann Ocean Towing.
He said company management responds quickly to the needs of the boat and the crew. “I really have 24/7 access to the office, which is important. I know I can reach Stephen [Dann] anytime day or night.”
That could come in handy during unusual tows. One of Felarise’s first assignments as captain of the 3,000-hp Colonel was the dead-ship tow of the retired Navy destroyer Edson from the Philadelphia Navy Shipyard to a museum in Bay City, Mich., in July.
Using its Intercon DD-200 winch with 2,200′ of 2″ primary towing wire (the tug also has 2,000′ of 2″ secondary towing wire), the 106′ tug had no trouble towing the 418’×48′ destroyer. But the Edson’s two large propellers, which were locked up for the voyage, created drag and the tow averaged just 5.9 knots. It was a pretty typical voyage for an ocean tug, but when the tug made its way up the St. Lawrence River and entered the Great Lakes, the unusual tow captured the imagination of many and the media came out in full force.
“I am from a little itty-bitty town in Louisiana called Larose, and I was very surprised when I was interviewed on TV and photographed for the papers,” said Felarise. “Typically, a tug captain doesn’t get much attention.”
Escorted by the Coast Guard and hundreds of pleasure boats, the destroyer was delivered without incident and the Colonel has since returned to more standard duty — towing an oil barge from Plaquemines Parish, La., to Tampa.