TradeWinds' First Tow Through Expanded Panama Canal
The new locks of the Panama Canal saw another milestone on January 20th with the successful transit of TradeWinds Towing tug Hollywood and barge JMC 3336. This was the first transit by a tug and barge through the new locks. The tug and deck barge departed Tampico, Mexico January 3rd for Seattle, WA, where the barge will be delivered to new owners.
The JMC 3336 has a beam of 120 feet, which is 14 feet wider than the “Panamax” width permitted in the original locks. The new locks accommodate a beam of 160 feet. Prior to the canal’s expansion, a barge this size would have been towed via the Strait of Magellan, an additional 9,000 miles.
For this transit, the Hollywood towed the barge through with its tow wire, while an assist tug kept control of the stern and slowed the barge after it entered each chamber. The highly professional pilots and tug crews of the Panama Canal Authority ensured that the entire operation was safely executed. The successful passage was made possible by shipping agency Gateway Transit, which has unrivaled experience with towing operations through the canal.
The tug Hollywood was acquired by TradeWinds Towing in 2016. She recently underwent a life-extension at Conrad Deepwater Shipyard in Amelia, LA. She is powered by two EMD 16-645-E2 main engines, producing 4200 HP.
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