Two corresponding members have provided information concerning the scrap tow of the former lakers FRANK A. SHERMAN and RED WING, although at present we have been unable to run down the reports which we received concerning the alleged loss of RED WING somewhere in the area of the Hawaiian Islands.
Nevertheless, RivTow Straits Limited, Vancouver, has confirmed to member James Gallant that CANADIAN VIKING, the big tug which took the trans-Pacific tow, was formerly their RIVTOW VIKING which was sold out of the fleet to one Capt. Bill Church. RivTow stated that it had purchased the tug from Neptune Towing of Sweden, for which she had operated as HERMES as a "salvage station", and that HERMES had earlier been a British Navy steam salvage tug of the ASSURANCE class.
Checking Lloyd's Register (which we had not previously been able to do, not knowing the tug's earlier name), we find that she is C.330812, built in 1940 by Cochrane & Sons Ltd., Selby, U.K., 142.5 x 33.0 x 16.0, 578 Gross, 125 Net. She served as (a) DILIGENT (4l), (b) TENACITY (47), (c) ADHERENT (62), (d) HERMES (70), before joining RivTow, and was dieselized in 1962. RivTow used her to tow log barges on the Pacific Coast until she was tied up during the "recession" due to a lack of work and high operating costs. She was then sold to Church and associates, and went to the east coast to pick up the tow of the former ULS lakers.
Member John D. Henderson of Victoria, B C, was privileged to observe FRANK A. SHERMAN and RED WING at Honolulu. He contacted the Commander of the Fourteenth Coast Guard District, Honolulu, who expressed surprise "to see these unique vessels when they arrived here in Hawaii" on February 17, 1987.
To quote the Commander, via the Captain, Chief, Marine Safety Division, "Initially, they planned to anchor off port while the tug, CANADIAN VIKING, came in for fuel. But then they decided to take on extra fuel in the lakers' fuel tanks. As a result, they had to obtain temporary Certificates of Financial Responsibility, which are required for all vessels over 300 Gross Tons, carrying any oil. Hence, they came in and moored first at Pier 1 and later at Pier 3. We understand that they conducted some minor repairs in port while they were there waiting for the certificates and bunkers. After bunkering, they departed on March 6 for Kaohsiung, Taiwan, where they should arrive approximately April 20th."
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.