Vane Brothers Help Coordinate Comfort

Vane Brothers tugboat performing the bunkering operation on USNS Comfort hospital ship in New York Harbor

The coronavirus pandemic continues to be a challenging time for our country and our communities. It's also an extraordinary time as we witness the beauty and resilience of the human spirit coming together to support one another.

Our engine customers are doing their part to assist others in this time of crisis.

USNS Comfort on duty

One of our customers, Vane Brothers, helped in bunkering the USNS Comfort hospital ship while it was in New York Harbor.

On March 30, the white hospital vessel, emblazoned with red crosses, arrived at New York to support the nation's coronavirus response efforts. Vane tugboat, Potomac, caught up with the hospital ship at the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge and joined other vessels on hand to welcome the USNS Comfort and show support for the more than 1,100 Navy medical personnel on board. The hospital ship made her way along the Hudson River to Pier 90 at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal.

During its one-month stay, Comfort treated 182 patients, about 70 percent being highly acute coronavirus patients.

Seamless bunkering

As the USNS Comfort prepared to leave New York at the conclusion of her mission, Vane Brothers was there again to effectively coordinate with the U.S. Navy and complete a seamless bunkering operation.

Utilizing fuel supplied by Plaza Marine Fuel, the crews of the Vane tugboat Fort Schuyler, barge Double Skin 33, and support tugboat Elk River participated in the process.

Committed mariners

Vane Brothers Company operates tugs and barges along the East, West, and Gulf coasts delivering petroleum and chemical products, and its crews have not faltered in their duty during this health crisis.

"Our mariners understand the unprecedented nature of the situation and the essential role they fill," says Vane Brothers President C. Duff Hughes. "Their high level of cooperation, as well as the commitment shown by the entire Vane Brothers team, has been wonderful to witness."

Policies and protocols are in place with the central purpose of protecting the health and safety of Vane's seafarers as they work in waters ranging from Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia, Norfolk, Charleston, Savannah, and Tampa Bay to San Francisco, Los Angeles/Long Beach and Puget Sound.

Their high level of cooperation, as well as the commitment shown by the entire Vane Brothers team, has been wonderful to witness.

Duff Hughes
President, Vane Brothers