Thunder Bay Tug Services Ltd. is a family owned third generation tug company, serving the port of Thunder Bay since 1959. It was originally founded as Thunder Bay Marine Services Ltd. by Elliott Dawson with one tug as a “bum” boat, or floating store for vessels. Elliot’s son Gerry got involved in the business at a young age.


“I began to take an active interest in the business and worked for the company during summers and weekends while spending winters in the Marine Navigation course at Confederation College,” says Gerry. After obtaining his Master Minor Waters Certificate in 1976, Gerry purchased the company in 1983.

Over time, the company expanded its service offering to include tug services, pilot transportation, and launch services, among others. During this time, Thunder Bay Tugs has grown to a fleet of 5 tugs, consisting of the Point Valour, Glenada, Miseford, Robert W., and Rosalee D. and 2 barges. Gerry’s son Nathan joined the company in 2002, sharing his father’s and grandfather’s passion for tugs and Lake Superior from an early age.

Thunder Bay Tug Services Ltd. employs experienced captains who have a reputation for providing knowledgeable and safe ship assistance and ice breaking for both Lake and Ocean vessels. The company has assisted many boaters in distress, and continues to provide marine contracting and spill response services to industry around the port of Thunder Bay and surrounding area.