McAllister tugboats guide USNS Comfort to New York for virus response

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The following is text of a news release from McAllister Towing:

(NEW YORK) — USNS Comfort arrived in New York City on Monday in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and McAllister Towing provided the equipment and maritime expertise to safely dock the hospital ship.

Docking pilot Capt. Robert Ellis was at the helm as USNS Comfort arrived in New York Harbor. Ellis had the power of four tugs in support to bring the 900-foot ship to Manhattan’s Cruise Terminal at Pier 90 in the Hudson River. The z-drive tractor tugs Capt. Brian A. McAllister, Ava McAllister, Alex McAllister and Ellen McAllister provided over 21,000 horsepower combined and, with their state-of-the-art propulsion, offered exceptional control in guiding the hospital ship safely to its berth.

USNS Comfort deployed from Norfolk, Va., to help deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. The ship is equipped with 1,000 patient beds, 12 fully equipped operating rooms, eight intensive-care unit beds, four radiology suites, up to 1,200 Navy medical and communications personnel, and more than 70 civil service mariners. Its mission is to treat patients who do not have the virus, which frees up land-based hospitals and National Guard facilities to focus on COVID-19 in what is the epicenter of the virus in the United States.

“In these turbulent times, it is important for McAllister Towing to support our nation in every way possible," said Capt. Steven Kress, vice president of operations. "Whether it is a job like docking USNS Comfort or bringing in containerships daily to secure our nation’s supply chain, we answered the call as we have done for more than 150 years. I’m so proud of our team, especially the crews on our vessels that have continued to work safely and tirelessly during this extraordinary period in our lives. To all the essential workers including medical personnel, (Coast Guard) personnel, military, law enforcement, grocery store employees and transportation workers, thank you!”

By Professional Mariner Staff