GORDON MASON Chief Eng-United/Smit/Genstar/Union Towing/Seaspan

18th February 2007, 13:27
For anyone who remembers Gordon Mason (Chief Engineer) ex United Towing(Hull), Smit Tak, Union Towing(Vancouver), Genstar(san fransisco), Seaspan etc etc

I am a new member of this forum and looking to hear from anyone who worked with or knew my dad. I am especially looking for photo's from his time at United Towing as he was always full of stories and told them with a sense of pride.

Many thanks
Rob Mason (Thumb)

18th February 2007, 16:55
Greetings Rob to the site, enjoy it and all that goes with it. Bon voyage.

Norman Trewren
18th February 2007, 22:21
Hello Rob

Welcome to SN. I remember your Dad well from UTT days. I'm afraid that my pics taken in those days - apart from the Zeus - are all in transparancies, but I may be able to afford to convert some!


Mate - Seaspan Commodore, Sea Swift , Asst Marine Supt - Union Towing

19th February 2007, 20:04
Thanks Norman,

I can remember when my Dad was with UTT, I must have been around 10 years old and we used to go and collect him from Great Yarmouth when the tugs had docked. In those days it was quite a journey as the only real way to go was through goole, swinefleet, gainsborough to lincoln and then sleaford and the A47. No M62 & no Humber Bridge so it used to take forever.

We usually stayed the night on the tug which was a massive adventure for me, and I remember being there for a weekend when it was my birthday & the cook who was a massive black guy did a huge birthday cake and made a party for me in the galley. Absolutely top blokes. I remember a Portuguese deckie trying to line me up for an arranged marriage with his daughter lol

Once we went into Norwich to have dinner with Paddy Rumsey and his missus & can remember her falling asleep and snoring like mad, all my mam could say was how ignorant the yanks were for doing that, but i'm sure Paddy & his wife were actually Canadian. (Thumb) I've got a photo with my UTT t-shirt on somewhere, will dig it out and post it.

Georgios Kalapothakis
20th July 2008, 14:48
Hai Rob, last month I am trying to find out some information about the former companies my ex-partner Georgios Kalapothakis used to work for when he was living in Greece.
Via search for UTT I found this formum and your message. Today I told Georgios by phone about your message and he confirmed that he has worked together with your father and knew him very well. Georgios was mate/stuurman on the tugboats UTT in the Nortsea. Also worked for URS, Seaspane and Crowley Maritime Seatlle.
He is living again in Greece now together with his wife Ruth. She is from England. In case you are interested in contact I leave his phonenumber.
He has quite some photo's from all the boats but he does not have photographs of your father.
His phone in Greece is
Met vriendelijke groeten, Janneke van Andel-Dordrecht-Nederland

K urgess
20th July 2008, 15:22
Welcome aboard Georgios.
I've edited your post to remove the telephone number and email address as per site policy. The site is veiwable and searchable from the internet so personal numbers and email addresses are open to abuse unless posted in your profile which is viewable by members only.
Please make contact by private message.
Enjoy the voyage.

10th October 2008, 12:54
Hi, robmason,

I can't remember your dad, but I bet my late father would have. He was John Whitson who was port captain for Union Towing in Peterhead in the early seventies.

I remember Paddy Rumsey well, he was indeed Canadian. I took my first trip to sea with Paddy, when I was fourteen years of age in 1974 my father arranged for me to spend a week at sea with Paddy on board the Zeus.

I left Peterhead on board the Guardian, transferred to the Zeus which was towing Mc Dermot's LB 27 if I remember correctly, spent a week there being sea sick everyday before returning to Peterhead on board the Sea Span Commodore.

Still didn't put me off joining the Merchant Navy.

Sorry can't help with any info or photo's about your father.

Best Regards
Conrad Whitson

10th October 2008, 18:59
Greetings Georgios and welcome to SN. Bon voyage.

18th April 2009, 19:05
Hello Rob,
I met your Dad a couple of times in the late 70s in Gt Yarmouth when we worked for Union Towing.
I sailed with your Dad in 92 on the Smit Sumatera. He was chief I was skipper. We Salved the Japanese owned Panama flagged bulker M/V Riau on the Thia/Cambodia border. I have 6 pics of the Sal/Op, your dad was onboard supervising the job,but sadly no pics of him. He was good honest man and great to work with.
B.Rgds Bob Nicholson

peter drake
18th April 2009, 21:38
Hi Rob
I have a book "United Towing 1920 1990" by Alan Ford. Loads of pics and the full history. If you Google it you may still be able to get a copy.
Best of Luck

Georgios Kalapothakis
4th January 2010, 07:37
I hereby have a request for information. As I wil reach the age of 65 this year I am busy applying for a seaman's pension in Greece. My intention is to count together my sailingyears for Greece marine and the 7/10 years in the North Sea Area (URS joint venture UTT/Crowly/Red stock and so on). Although I have all the contracts form URS Belgium in my possession they cannot give me a letter that confirms the period of contracts working for them. I am very interested in the experience of ex-collegaes that applied for a seaman's pensioen and if the years working on the tugboats in the North Sea also counted in the total of workingsyears als a seaman/marine. Thank you all in advance for helpful information.