Written By: Camryn Keeble

Asbestos on Navy Tugboats

U.S. Navy tugboats are small, powerful vessels used to provide towing and maneuvering support for larger ships in the fleet. These versatile vessels are capable of performing a wide range of tasks, including towing, pushing, and berthing larger vessels. However, Navy tugboats were built with mass amounts of asbestos-containing materials, which can cause health problems for Navy veterans.

Retired LCDR Carl Jewett

Reviewed By

Retired LCDR Carl Jewett

VA-Accredited Claims Agent

Retired LCDR Carl Jewett

Reviewed By

Retired LCDR Carl Jewett

VA-Accredited Claims Agent

Dangers of Asbestos on Navy Tugboats

Although tugboats are critical to the Navy’s warfighting capabilities, these ships may be responsible for health issues experienced by many Navy veterans

Navy tugboats and many other Navy Ships are known to contain asbestos in various components. These ships were built with asbestos because it was considered a highly durable and heat-resistant substance.

Unfortunately, the health risks associated with asbestos were unknown at the time of construction. Now, we know that exposure to asbestos can lead to the development of serious long-term health issues or an asbestos-related disease, such as the rare cancer called mesothelioma

As previously mentioned, asbestos can be found all throughout Navy tugboats. Some locations on tugboats where asbestos is present are the insulation of pipes, generators, electrical wiring, turbines, condensers, main engines, engine rooms, diesels, HPACs, ductwork, gaskets and valve packing materials. Because of the widespread use of asbestos throughout tugboats and other Navy ships, military asbestos exposure is one of the most common types of exposure. 

If you are a Navy veteran who served on a tugboat, you may have been exposed to asbestos on your ship. Contact our VA-Accredited Claims Agent, retired LCDR Carl Jewett, to find out more information or for assistance filing your VA claim.

More About Navy Tugboats

U.S. Navy tugboats (or Tugs) play a vital role in supporting the daily operations of the fleet. They are indispensable assets, providing essential assistance in maneuvering large naval vessels in confined spaces and ensuring their safe navigation in harbors and docks. Although they may not receive the same recognition as larger warships, tugboats are a critical component of the Navy’s maritime capabilities.

Tugs are small yet powerful vessels designed to assist larger ships in maneuvering within harbors, docks, and other confined spaces. They play a crucial role in the U.S. Navy, where they tow and guide aircraft carriers, destroyers, and other large naval vessels.

The Navy utilizes a variety of tugs, including harbor tugs (YT), large harbor tugs (YTB), and salvage and rescue tugs (ATS). Each type of tug has specific capabilities and functions tailored to the needs of the naval vessels they support.

Despite their relatively small size, tugs are equipped with powerful engines and robust hulls that allow them to exert considerable force when towing or pushing larger vessels. Many naval tugs have engines with over 1,000 horsepower, enabling them to maneuver massive ships with ease.

Sources & Author

  1. USNS Narragansett (T-ATF 167) underway. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1590056. Accessed: 09/05/2023.
Camryn Keeble image

About the Writer, Camryn Keeble

Camryn Keeble is the senior content writer and editor for Mesothelioma Guide. She creates informative content to educate mesothelioma patients and their loved ones on news, treatments and more. She also works diligently to raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos exposure and the effects of mesothelioma.