The roots of
Island Tug and Barge go back seventy-five years. The company began in 1925
under the leadership of Harold B. Elworthy with the tug, Island Planet.
Island Tug grew quickly with the acquisition of Gardner Towing in 1926, Young
and Gore Towing in 1953, Victoria Tug in 1958, and Griffiths Steamship Company
After a ten-year association with McAllister Towing Ltd.
of Montreal, Island Tug joined with Vancouver Tug to form what is now Seaspan
International Ltd. The name Island Tug and Barge Ltd. remained as an asset of
Seaspan from 1970 until purchased by the Shields family in 1993.
Island Tug and Barge re-commenced operations with the tug, Pacific
Force, jointly owned with Pacific Towing Services. Island Tug again grew
very quickly through the purchase of Seatow Marine and Standard Towing. In
1999, expansion continued with the merger of sister company, International Tug
and Barge Ltd.
Shields Navigation, also owned by the Shields
family, was brought under the umbrella of Island Tug and Barge Ltd. in June
2000. Shields Navigation had served industry and communities along the Pacific
coast since 1965, delivering fuel and deck cargoes.
Today, the main
focus of operations concentrates on bulk fuel delivery, underwater cable
installations, general towing, and barge services. "Our strength comes from
within," says President, Captain Bob Shields, "employee involvement is
encouraged and welcomed, and in all ways sets the tone for the image that the
company portrays. Our goal is one of operational excellence and enthusiastic