tugs alongside a large vessel | Keeping the Port Moving since 1959

Keeping the Port Moving Since 1959

Family owned and operated for over 50 years by the Dawson family. The company began as Thunder Bay Marine Services Limited in 1959, by Elliott and Wealthy Dawson. They operated a “bum boat”, or floating store, selling dry goods to vessels at anchor. Son, Gerry purchased it in 1983. His son Nathan joined the company in 2004 and son Davis joined in 2015. The fleet has expanded to 5 tugs and 2 barges.


The Most Experienced Crews

Captains Gerry Dawson, Stan Dawson, Tom Paglaro, Nathan Dawson and Sarah Lewis have over 150 years of experience between them handling ships, performing rescues and doing marine contracting within the Port of Thunder Bay and Lake Superior. We pride ourselves on the excellent condition of our tugs and their abilities, and strive to always provide the best service possible.


Captain Gerry and his crew were awarded Medals of Bravery, for the rescue of the crew of the disabled yacht, Grampa Woo in 1996.


The crews were featured on the History Channel series, “Great Lakes Warriors” in 2012.


Service Area

  • Port of Thunder Bay and Lake Superior
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