Onboard the SMIT Yallarm, tug master John Sharp guides a coal ship into dock.
Onboard the SMIT Yallarm, tug master John Sharp guides a coal ship into dock. Christopher Chan GLATUGS

Tug crew make it all look simple

THEY are the not-so-glamorous workhorses of the sea.

Tugs are better known for grunt than style, but the SMIT Yallarm is an impressive piece of shiny, brand new machinery. It was manufactured in Turkey two years ago, along with the other tugs in Gladstone.

Tug Master John Sharp said the vessel was incredibly manoeuvrable (and he proves it) and benefits from sophisticated technology.

A trip to the engine room, where two thumping V16 engines dominate the room, certainly puts your V8 ute into perspective.

From the comfort of the wheelhouse, the crew make it look easy.

Mr Sharp has been sailing for a living since he was 16, and chief engineer David Balchin used to work on giant bauxite carriers.

Out on the deck, general purpose hand (GPH) Vivia Matson does what looks like the fun job - she handles the ropes between the tug and the coal ship soaring over her.

The most bizarre aspect is the contradiction - brute force is at play on every side of the vessel, but on board the Yallarm, all is calm.



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