Friday, January 23, 2009

Tugboat Wisconsin

I drove along Canal Street and spotted the tugs waiting the winter out in the Menomonee River. You have to love the tugboat. Perhaps it's due to Scruffy the Tugboat book that I read as a kid, but you really have respect for these little boats and the amazing jobs they do. Seeing a little tugboat hauling in a massive Great Lakes freighter is really fascinating. The strength and power is phenomenal. And this tug is really special because of its name - Wisconsin.
Some people claim that this tugboat is haunted. In 1941 it sunk in the Detroit River coming to the assistance of a grounded Great Lakes freighter, The B.F. Jones. Six men lost their lives. The tugboat was brought to the surface and restored. Now there are men who won't sail her. There have been strange noises and incidences where valves are open when thought to be closed. In a story from JS Online - a crew was bringing the boat back from Chicago when one of the men was joking and making remarks about "the ghost". He questioned why the ghost wasn't down running the engines. All of a sudden the engines died. Mechanics later found water in the fuel supply even though the lines were sealed...and the engines had been running just fine for nine hours. Oooh...I don't know.

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