Rescue Tug; Tug Advocate Takes Exception To How Issues Were Presented

Editorials & Opinion: Thursday, December 23, 1999

Letters To The Editor

At the risk of tugging too much on the tug issue, I need to live up to my reputation and comment on Ross Anderson’s cover story, “Think tugs aren’t necessary? Don’t tell Fred Felleman” (Dec. 17).

While I am flattered to provide the foil to elevate the tug issue, I must take exception with how some of the issues were represented.

All the left-handed compliments aside, I never referred to anyone as a “fool” for not agreeing that a tug larger than the Barbara Foss is appropriate to respond to a ship in the heavy seas off Cape Flattery.

More importantly, I am not advocating for the government to permanently underwrite the stationing of a rescue tug in Neah Bay, nor am I calling for all freighters to be escorted by tugs.

The purpose of the tug should be to escort oil tankers through the entrance to the Strait, stand by to assist any ship in need of a tow, and to aid in fire fighting and spill response. If, as a result of this winter’s trial period, which was made possible by Congressman (Norm) Dicks and Vice President Al Gore’s use of Naval contracts, the tug proves its utility, all commercial vessels bound for ports in Washington and British Columbia should be required to underwrite its service in the future.

All my persistence and assistance from the broad coalition of supporters for improved maritime safety in Washington would be for naught if it were not for the receptivity and can-do capabilities of Rep. Dicks.

If the tug is kept in the Strait, it should be named after his mentor, the late Sen. Warren G. Magnuson, who set the standard by which all elected officials should be measured for their commitment to protecting Washington state’s greatest liquid asset.

Fred Felleman Seattl.

Copyright (c) 1999 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

~ by fredfelleman on December 23, 1999.

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