Saturday 13 August 2016


It was a blustery fall day when we came across the McNally tug JERRY NEWBERRY connecting to a barge at Rivière-au-Renaud, one of the many pretty coastal ports near the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. We came across this exciting action scene while driving through the Gaspé region while on our way to Percé Rock in September 2010.

When launched in 1956 at Davie Shipbuilding in Lauzon, Quebec for Foundation Marine of Halifax, Nova Scotia, her name  was FOUNDATION VICTOR. Big and powerful for her day, the 98' single screw tug was stationed during the summer months in Sept-Iles, Quebec and used assist in the docking and undocking of bulk carriers there to load up cargoes of Labrador iron ore. In the winter FOUNDATION VICTOR was transferred to Halifax to complete  various harbour operation activities including ice breaking.
When she started working for Eastern Towing in 1973, her name was changed to POINT VICTOR and then it was changed to KAY COLE when she was sold to Pitt Construction of Toronto in 1977 and was used to tow dredges and scows for Pitt. Her name remained the KAY COLE even after being sold to McKeil Workboats of Hamilton, Ontario in 1991, but it was changed to JERRY NEWBERRY in 1995. Just like the other McKeil tugs that we see operating on the Lakes and along Seaway today, the JERRY NEWBERRY worked as a push tug for barge services, docking and undocking tasks, as well as scrap-tow duties. She even did harbour tug activities for the Port of Montreal for a time. In 2007 she was sold to McNally Construction, also of Hamilton and continued to tow barges along Canada's east coast, the North and outer St. Lawrence River like when I snapped her in Rivière-au-Renard in 2010.

After being laid up for more than a year near the Canso Canal at Point Hawksbury, Nova Scotia, the once proud former Foundation Marine tug, was acquired by Sealand Shipping of Baie Verte, Newfoundland in 2013.
Now named R.J. BALLOTT, the 60 year old tug continues to show her usefulness by moving barges on the east coast and for the massive Hebron oil in Newfoundland. Regardless of the name she bears, it's all great work for this classic tug c):-D


  1. Great write up on this old Tug. Just a note that Sealand Shipping is located in Baie Verte, NEWFOUNDLAND not New Brunswick. R. Ballott is great with Marine motors and will definitely keep her in tip top shape!

  2. This tug was named after my father E.J (Jerry) Newberry, who spent his working life, well into his 80's,either in merchant marine as an engineer, or as a marine surveyor. The McKiel's paid him this honor recognizing his value to the industry. An honor he carried with him to his last breath. Thank you.