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Asbestos in Tugboats

US Navy Tugboats

In the Navy, a tugboat’s work is never done. Day in and day out, these sturdy boats pull more than their weight as they navigate much larger vessels in and out of tight spots in the harbor, as well as serving on open seas. And when called upon, tugboats and their crews act as unsung heroes to rescue those service members who are stranded on disabled ships in the open ocean.

Unfortunately, both hardworking Navy veterans and civilian seamen may have been exposed to asbestos while working on tugboats and other navy ships like minesweepers, seaplane tenders, submarines and  ammunition ships. The deadly material was used on many ships and boats that were being built into the early 1980s. Even those who worked on tugboats after the Navy adopted its policy against asbestos in 1975 may have been exposed in older ships that were still in service or those that were already under construction when the policy was put in place.

For veterans and civilian seamen who are just now being hit with the effects of asbestos exposure that occurred decades ago, help is available. Belluck & Fox, LLP, a nationally recognized asbestos law firm, has more than 20 years of experience fighting for the rights of those who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Our skilled attorneys have secured more than $800 million in compensation for our clients and their families over the years.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, contact us today to discuss how we can help you pursue the compensation you need.

Auxiliary Ships and Asbestos

Auxiliary ships such as tugboats, tankers, transports and cargo ships provide vital support to Naval operations around the world. Both in wartime and in peace, these vessels play an essential role in the day-to-day maintenance and support of combatant ships.

Asbestos was used in equipment and parts on auxiliary ships that were constructed prior to and throughout the 1970s. Those who worked around the engine and boiler areas of Navy vessels may have been exposed to asbestos that was used in turbines, pumps, valves and gaskets.

Veterans and civilian seamen who worked with or around asbestos products are at risk of developing mesothelioma. Because this devastating cancer can develop 15 to 60 years after a person was initially exposed to asbestos, Navy veterans and civilians who worked on ships and in shipyards from the 1950s through the 1980s are particularly at risk.

Tugboat Hull Classifications

Tugboats are versatile vessels, having served many purposes throughout the history of the U.S. Navy. Some of the common types of tugboats and their hull classifications include:

  • Ocean Going Tug, AT
  • Auxiliary Ocean Tug, ATA
  • Fleet Ocean Tug, ATF
  • Auxiliary Tug Rescue, ATR
  • Amphibious Warping Tug, LWT
  • Icebreaking Tug, TGB
  • Yard Motor Tug, YMT
  • Harbor Tug, YT
  • Small Harbor Tug, YTL
  • Medium Harbor Tug, YTM
  • Large Harbor Tug, YTB

Tugboat Records

The Naval Vessel Register keeps an inventory of U.S. Naval ships and service craft, both those still in service and those that have been sold or are no longer in use. The register contains information on the vessel names, class, hull, builder, launch date, commission date, current status, and other details.

Some of the tugboats with records in the Naval Vessel Register include:

  • Abnaki
  • Accokeek
  • Achomawi
  • Apache
  • Arikara
  • Atakapa
  • Bannock
  • Cahokia
  • Carib
  • Challenge
  • Chickasaw
  • Chimariko
  • Choctaw
  • Chowanoc
  • Cocopa
  • Cree
  • Cusabo
  • Hidatsa
  • Hitchiti
  • Jicarilla
  • Kalmia
  • Keywadin
  • Kiowa
  • Lipan
  • Luiseno
  • Mahopac
  • Mataco
  • Moctobi
  • Molala
  • Mosopelea
  • Navigator
  • Nipmuc
  • Paiute
  • Papago
  • Penobscot
  • Pinto
  • Quapaw
  • Sagamore
  • Salinan
  • Salish
  • Samoset
  • Seneca
  • Shakori
  • Sioux
  • Stallion
  • Takelma
  • Tatnuck
  • Tawakoni
  • Tawasa
  • Tekesta
  • Tillamook
  • Tunica
  • Tuscarora
  • Umpqua
  • Ute
  • Utina
  • Wandank

To review a more comprehensive list of tugboats, along with the associated records, please visit the Naval Vessel Register.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma after serving on a tugboat or other Navy vessel, contact us to learn how we can help you pursue compensation. We have the knowledge and the resources to research your service history and identify which asbestos companies may be responsible for producing the dangerous equipment or parts used on your vessel.

Will My Mesothelioma Claim Be Against the Navy?

Rest assured that your mesothelioma claim will not hurt the Navy. That’s because the manufacturers that sold asbestos products and equipment to the Navy are the ones that put you in harm’s way, so they are the ones that should be held responsible.

When you schedule a free consultation with our experienced asbestos attorneys, we will go over all of your options for pursuing compensation and answer any questions you may have about your claim.

We Stand Up for Those Who Stood Strong for Us

At Belluck & Fox, LLP, we are proud to represent Navy veterans and civilian seamen who contributed to the defense of our great nation. And we are honored to fight for justice for those who need an advocate after being unknowingly exposed to a dangerous carcinogen that led to a terrible disease.

Contact us today to schedule a free review of your case. Our attorneys know how serious and time-sensitive these asbestos claims are, and we respond to inquiries immediately.


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