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The 1968-built  Chemical Pioneer is a long- and multiple-lived vessel.  Here‘s a photo of her, then known as C. V. Sea Witch, in 1970.  She entered history books in the sixth boro on the night of June 1 into 2, 1973, most of you likely know the story of her tragic encounter, fatal for 16 mariners, collision and subsequent fire with SS Esso Brussels, loaded with Nigerian crude. Fire engulfed both ships and as they dragged anchor under the VZ Bridge, threatened the integrity of the bridge.

Thanks to Steve Munoz, here are photos of Esso Brussels taken several months later

at the Todd Shipyard in Hoboken, which closed two years later, part of a cascade of lost shipyards in the sixth boro.

Later that year she was towed to Greece, where she was rebuilt and emerged from the shipyard in 1974 as Petrola XVII.  She carried the name Petrola--with various number suffixes–until she was scrapped in 1985.

 

Here’s the rebuilt C. V. Sea Witch, now called Chemical Pioneer.

 

Many thanks for these photos to Steve Munoz, who had been aboard McAllister Bros. with his uncle Capt. Bob Munoz.  I could have called this “Thanks to Steve Munoz 20.”

Unfortunately, the disaster of early June 1973 has not been the only one in sixth boro history.  NY Tugmaster’s Weblog devotes a post to some of these, with three most horrific ones occurring in the month of June.  Many thanks to Capt. Brucato for compiling these with links to the final reports.

Interestingly, the hull of PS General Slocum was converted to a coal barge, and it sank in December 1911.  Texaco Massachusetts was towed to a shipyard,  repaired,  and returned to service, as were two attending tugboats, Latin American and Esso Vermont.  Dramatic photos of the Texaco Massachetts/Alva Cape post-collision fire and rescue efforts can be seen here. Alva Cape was eventually towed 150 miles SE of the Narrows and sunk.

From August 20, 1973 . . . it’s another narrated job from Steve. This time, MS Olympia is getting sailed.   Launched in 1953 in Glasgow, she was a long-lived vessel.  Any guesses when she went out of service?

“MS Olympia at 57th St Pier North R.  Eugene F Moran and  Maureen Moran wait on the river side of the pier.”

I gather Eugene was the 1951 Jakobson-build, the ninth and final tug by that name.  Maureen worked under that name from 1971 until 2010.

“Our vantage point was “McA Bros.”

McAllister Bros.  pushing the bow of MS Olympia.  ”

 

“MS Olympia heading for sea.”  Off her port bow, you can see the tall building at Stevens Institute of Technology.

Lower Manhattan on the North River side was truly a different place in 1973.    Have you guessed when this vessel went out of service?  You can read her service history and see lots of photos, some even in the sixth boro, here.

One job done, on to the next for McAllister Bros.  By the way, anyone know why the flag is at half mast?  My search came up empty handed.

And the answer is . . . 2009.  She was beached in Alang on 24 July 2009 and nothing was left a year later.  Her last visit in NYC had been in 2001.

 

But first, can you guess the date?  Answer follows.

Mackenzie Rose is the newest name for this 2000-built boat, after Vernon C and then Mary Gellatly.

Ellen, ex-YTB-793 Piqua, here assists a box boat with a boat on top.   Ex-YTBs can be found in some unusual places.

Capt. Brian A. approaches the pilot’s door of this ULCV.

Jay Michael is painted a flat red, or maybe that’s a faded bright red.

Mount St Elias heads east with a loaded DBL 82.

Robert IV is off to a job.

Anacostia goes out the Ambrose with Double Skin 509A on wire.

Sea Lion returns, as does

Lincoln Sea and DBL 140 arrive from the south.

And finally, James D and Miriam meet a box ship to escort her into port.

Did you guess the date of the McAllister Bros. photo?  It comes thanks to Steve Munoz, who sent more along as well.  The answer is 1973, and the photo is taken from the Hoboken side.

All photos, except Steve’s, by Will Van Dorp.

Unrelated but interesting:  How one small town grocery store in Alaska keeps the shelves stocked here.   More southern Alaska boat infrastructure here.

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