Marine Towing of Tampa, LLC was founded in October 1999 by a group of local towing professionals - ending a monopoly on harbor tug services that existed for several decades in the Tampa Bay area.
Norman Atkins, began working on the harbor tugs during summer break while still a high school student over thirty years ago. He spent his college years in the harbor operations department and has been involved with ship docking on Tampa Bay ever since. Along with
his current senior management position, he is also responsible for the company’s marketing activity.
James R. Brantner's career on Tugboats commenced in 1983 as a deckhand and in 1986 was promoted to Captain. His early experience in the industry included various harbor assignments including ship assist and fuel barge movements in Tampa Bay. He was the Master of the very first Z-Drive Tug to enter service in Tampa Bay and has been the first to command the majority of the new Z-Drive Tugs introduced to the Port. His expertise in operating Z-Drive Tugs spanned to Kingsbay Navy Submarine Base docking Trident Class Submarines, Sao Luis, Brazil docking the largest bulk carriers in the world, San Francisco Bay and performed full-scale tanker escort trials that were used to create and implement guidelines and procedures that are still in effect today. He Participated in a full scale tanker escort study for Chevron Corporation in the Gulf of Mexico to establish Tug escort requirements for Prince William Sound Alaska. Was contracted to work with Turecamo and Evergreen and the Port of Charleston, S.C. to maneuver the largest container ships ever to call on Charleston and to demonstrate indirect towing and transverse arrest maneuvers. Capt. Brantner was in charge of many short-term offshore towing operations; most noteworthy was an assignment in 1989 providing tug assist to the MILITARY SEALIFT COMMAND/Dept. of Defense. Currently he is responsible for training and day-to-day operations.
In short, Marine Towing is proud to have the most seasoned and knowledgeable
group of harbor towing professionals on Tampa Bay.