KOTUG announces purchase of joint venture interest in Kotug Seabulk Maritime from partner SEACOR Holdings

KOTUG International B.V. (KOTUG) announced today that it has concluded the acquisition of Kotug Seabulk Maritime LLC (KSM) taking full ownership of the business. KOTUG acquired the interest of its joint venture partner, SEACOR Holdings Inc. (SEACOR) via its Seabulk subsidiary KS Maritime Holdings LLC, owner of the 50% share in KSM.

Established in 1911, KOTUG is a premier, family-owned towage and maritime service operator that offers a variety of towing, subsea, and other marine-related services to customers worldwide. Presently, the fleet comprises more than 70 tugs and barges.

Ard-Jan Kooren, CEO of KOTUG, commented, “Together with Seabulk, we have developed KSM into a renowned, leading towage brand in the Caribbean. We are excited to take full ownership of the business and to continue offering essential support to Buckeye Partners Freeport operations for many years to come, with one of the region’s most modern and sophisticated fleets. Our operations are supported by an excellent team, with more than 93% of the staff being Bahamians, both in our offices and on board.”

Founded in 2017, KSM acts as the exclusive provider of maritime terminal support services for Buckeye Partners’ Bahamas Hub, which includes launch and line handling services. Buckeye Partners is one of the largest independent operators of liquid petroleum products pipelines and terminals in the United States and currently holds the sole operating license for all bunkering operations in Freeport harbor.

Dan Thorogood, CEO of Seabulk, expressed optimism about the transaction, stating, “This is an extremely positive outcome. Over the course of our decade-plus relationship, we not only integrated the proprietary Rotortug vessel into the KSM JV but also into the formerly owned Seabulk US-flag harbor towing fleet. KOTUG is a leader in towing innovation, and I can confidently say they are uniquely suited to carry the business forward and ensure the continuation of high-quality, customer-centric operations.”

KSM joins Falcon’s Boy Club Back-to-School Maritime Seminar

Kotug Seabulk Maritime (KSM) partnered with the Falcon’s Boys Club to organize a Back-to-School Maritime Seminar at the harbour aboard the Margaritaville. It was attended by thirty boys from the club who were interested in the maritime industry. A conglomerate of different professions was represented at the seminar including a joint presentation by Kotug Seabulk Maritime and Buckeye Bahamas Hub.

“We strongly believe that the children are the future and we were overjoyed that we could be part of this event and also give back,” said Elcott Johnson, Marine Operations Manager KSM and Buckeye Bahamas Hub representative Kyle Ward. “It was an enjoyable time and the wealth of information communicated to the boys was vast and relevant, there was plenty of time to answer all their questions.”

A back-to-school handout was also conducted in which 60+ young men received school supplies from all the sponsors of the event including KSM.

Giving the Gift of Technology to Local Grand Bahama Community

KSM partnered with the Rotary Club of Sunset to support the Grand Bahama community during these challenging times of COVID-19 with a donation of laptops to a selected group of children, in preparation for the upcoming school year. “At KSM we embrace the ‘Giving the gift of technology’ action of the Rotary Club of Sunset. We strongly believe that the children are the future and we were overjoyed that we could be part of this charitable donation through the Rotary Club of Sunset and give back to the children. We want to put the great cause of the organization in the spotlight and encourage other companies in Grand Bahama to give back to the community of Grand Bahama in whatever way possible. Together we can make the difference” says Chris Bhalai,  Marine Operations Manager at Kotug Seabulk Maritime (KSM), LLC.

Read the full article here

Chris Bhalai handing over one of the 15 laptops donated by KSM
Chris Bhalai handing over one of the 15
laptops donated by KSM.



Today the IMO Celebrates the 10th edition of the World Seafarers Day. Seafarers are on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic, playing an essential role in maintaining the flow of vital goods. However, the crisis has led to difficult working conditions for seafarers, including uncertainties and difficulties about port access, re-supply, crew changeovers, and repatriation. KOTUG Seabulk Maritime embraces this year’s campaign of the IMO to pay tribute to seafarers, acknowledging their sacrifice and the issues they face. But also to encourage everyone to treat seafarers with the respect and dignity they deserve so that they can continue to provide their vital services to keep world trade moving. Help to spread the word by using the hashtag #SeafarersAreKeyWorkers. We are proud of all our fantastic colleagues at sea in these difficult times.


Given the current situation regarding the COVID-19 virus, we want to inform our clients, partners, and stakeholders as follows: at Kotug Seabulk Maritime, the health and safety of our colleagues, our clients, and business relations are our biggest and primary concern.

We follow the guidelines issued by (local) governments, use common sense and stay in close contact with our stakeholders to minimize the impact where possible together. We monitor the situation closely in all areas where we operate. We realize that we are part of large supply chains, as we have been for over 100 years, and we continue to dedicate ourselves to supporting our client’s business in this period of uncertainty, in close consultation with all parties involved. We’re in this together. We will inform all stakeholders directly upon changes in this status quo.


Successful towage assistance of grounded vessel in Bahama’s

Kotug Seabulk Maritime’s tugs in Freeport, Grand Bahama were requested to urgently assist a container vessel that ran aground at the Freeport Anchorage.

At the time of the grounding, the vessel was under pilotage, and being towed dead-ship by four tugs from another company. The four tugs unsuccessfully attempted to re-float the vessel before calls were made out to KSM. RT Blackbeard, RT Raptor and SD Calypso were immediately dispatched to assist the tugs already on scene. Both Rotortugs® connected to the bow of the vessel, and the SD Calypso connected center lead aft. Three other tugs also pushed on the starboard quarter and another pulled via the center lead forward tow point.

It took around five minutes of pulling before the ship floated off the bottom and could be towed out into deeper waters. The Pilot then released the four tugs initially called out and requested the three KSM tugs take over the entire job. RT Raptor shifted to C/L forward, and RT Blackbeard remained alongside without a line connected. Finally, the vessel was brought safely into port later that night.
All maneuvers were completed safely and conducted with a high level of skill.
Chris Bhalai, Operations Manager of KSM: “Our team did a fantastic job! Something we train our people for, but you never know for sure how things work out until a real-life situation like this one occurs. I am truly proud of our crew! This was also a good opportunity to display the advantages of these highly sophisticated tugs. We’re happy we were able to assist and possibly prevented a greater catastrophe.”

KSM’s Relief Efforts in Grand Bahama Post Hurricane Dorian

Hurricane Dorian struck the Bahamas as a Category 5 tropical cyclone with life-threatening winds, heavy rain and dangerous flooding, bringing extensive damage to the northwestern islands Abaco and Grand Bahama. It was the most powerful storm to strike the Bahamas in almost a century and severely affected residents of Grand Bahama including many KSM Employees. In the aftermath of the storm, it soon became clear that there was an urgent need to render immediate assistance to the community.

The KSM team provided direct relief on the ground in Grand Bahama distributing supplies and providing aid to employees affected by the devastation. Relief supplies included water, portable generators, baby products, medical supplies, feminine and hygiene products, were shipped to Freeport immediately after the port reopened. “That’s where our fleet and people came in,” says Rick Groen, director of KSM, “having direct access to boats it is the least we can do.” Crewmembers and the management team of KSM also banded together in unity in the wake of hurricane Dorian to assist each other in clean-up efforts removing debris from damaged and destroyed homes and searching for displaced family members.
KSM remains committed to assisting the community as much as possible. A Hurricane Relief Assistance Plan has been put into effect to further help employees and their families with more long term recovery efforts. Additionally, in partnership with our client Buckeye Bahamas Hub, a reverse osmosis fresh water maker was installed at the Buckeye terminal providing 5,000 gals/day to make potable water available for all its employees and facilities. “We understand this will not take away all the harm that has been done, but hopefully this will at least add value to their ongoing recovery efforts,” says Rick Groen of KSM, “just like so many other organisations, individuals and the international community we will assist wherever possible to help our community.”


KSM recently welcomed the “Capt. Leroy” and the “KSM Speedy”, a 48’ (14,6 m) line handler and a 50’ (15,2 m) catamaran respectively as part of the Joint Venture’s ongoing investments on Grand Bahama island. These two vessels join the existing KSM fleet of four tugboats and a bunker barge.

The purchase enables KSM to broaden its’ towage services with two other maritime services: Line Handling and Passenger Transport services to Buckeye Bahamas Hub Terminal, the largest petroleum products terminal in the Western Hemisphere.
Ard-Jan Kooren (Director of KSM): “This acquisition further validates KSM’s commitment to BBH to constantly monitor how we can increase the efficiency and safety of our operations and improve the turnaround times of vessels in ports and at the BBH terminal offshore. We are proud that again we have proven to do so above the expectations of BBH.”
The Capt. Leroy is named in honor of Captain Leroy, a KSM captain who was lost in a bad storm while on his pleasure boat, a hobby he enjoyed doing when not working as a tug Captain. The line handler operates as a multiple-purpose vessel conducting line handling operations, cargo lifts and passenger transfers.
The KSM Speedy was built in 2008 and operates as a pilot boat and passenger launch.

KSM Tugs assist Carnival Vista and Boka Vanguard in historic escort and float-off operations in Freeport Bahamas

On Saturday, July 13 the cruise vessel Carnival Vista was floated onto the heavy-lift submersible vessel Boka Vanguard to be transported to the Grand Bahama Shipyard for repairs. It was the first time this type of operation had been undertaken anywhere in the world. KOTUG Seabulk Maritime’s (KSM) SD Calypso served as one of the five assist tugs required for the float-on operation.
Three KSM tugs also assisted with the float-off on July 20, the SD Calypso, SD Junkanoo and the RT Blackbeard.

Kudos to the entire team for making this a successful operation!



KSM Showcased at the Freeport Technical & Industrial Forum & Exhibition

On Friday, April 5th 2019, KSM participated in a Technical & Industrial Forum & Exhibition in Freeport Grand Bahama, hosted by the Department of Labor. Special guests included the Prime Minister of The Bahamas, the Deputy Prime Minister, and other Members of Parliament.

The Forum served to stimulate the interests of young Bahamians by drawing attention to the various opportunities and careers available to them in the Technical and Industrial fields in Grand Bahama. The event was a very proud moment for KSM, especially for three of our Deckhands who engaged in an interactive session with the Prime Minister of the Bahamas. Needless to say our display was quite the fan favorite!