Russel Brothers Limited   OWEN SOUND, ONTARIO   Steelcraft Boat Builders

Melba Croft Notes: Particulars of Canadian War- Vessels Building & Projected., Glenada [C.N.534] launched 23/11/1943. Canadian List of Shipping 1956: Glenada [C.177886] registered at Montreal; built at Owen Sound in 1943, 73'2 x 20' x 7'5; 101 g.t.; 25 n.t.; 320 hp. Owned by National Harbours Board, Ottawa. GAO Notes: Steel tug Glenada [C.177886] built by Russel Bros, Ltd., at Owen Sound, Ontario in 1943. Owned by Sandrin Bros., Sarnia until 1995, when acquired by Thunder Bay Tug Services, Thunder Bay Ontario. See also Griffon, F. A, Johnson and Donna B. and Richard M. Marshall clipping files.


Cornwall, Aug. 3 1957. Dan McCormick photo courtesy Rene Beauchamp. Rene Beauchamp notes (May 25, 2017): The photo was taken by my friend, the late Dan McCormick. Glenada was in the Bingley's drydock at Cornwall. My historical notes has the following... "In 1946, sold to Sincennes-McNaughton by the navy. The following year, sold to the NHB and in 1954 to unkown buyers (to me) By 1960, she was owned by the St.Lawrence Seaway Authority. Then went into the hands of the DOT, name change for the CCG later on."

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Lachine, 23/05/64. David Freeman photo courtesy Rene Beauchamp.

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Lachine, 1967. Photo courtesy Rene Beauchamp.

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Lachine, May1968. Photo courtesy Rene Beauchamp.

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Matthew Carlson notes (Oct. 2016): "Glenada was heavily modified after she was retired from the Canadian Navy with a blown engine in 1973. She was widened by 2 feet on each side using sponson tanks, new wheelhouse, back rooms removed from the lower deck and re-powered with a Caterpillar D399 v16 Diesel engine producing 1300hp."


Historical Collections of the Great Lakes Great Lakes Vessels Online Index
Photo source Item 002343


RBF notes: Active service (Thunder Bay, ON April 10, 2001)

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Glenada working in Thunder Bay. 12/06/2001.
Photo by Robert B. Farrow,


Glenada downbound passing the Fort Gratiot Light, Port Huron.
Photo by Skip Meier,


Apr. 7th, 2007
Thunder Bay Chronicle   Sat. April 7th, 2007.
Article supplied by Robert B. Farrow
Matthew Carlson notes (Oct. 14, 2016): The second Russel tug I work on, the WW2 tug Glenada. Built in 1943, 76' long, 23' beam. Heavily modified after she was retired from the Canadian Navy with a Blown engine in 1973. She was widened by 2 feet on each side using sponson tanks, new wheelhouse, back rooms removed from the lower deck and repowered with a Caterpillat D399 v16 Diesel engine producing 1300hp. The Glenada was purchased by Thunder Bay Tug Services in 1995 from Sandrin Brothers in Sarnia, Ontario. This tug has gained some local fame for several rescues of pleasure boats, fishing boats and for rescuing the crew of the Grampa Woo cruise boat in a bad storm.

Plaque reads: "Tug Glenada" Capt. Gerry Dawson, Chief Engineer Jack Olson, Deckhand James Harding are highly commended for their courage and skilful seamanship in the rescue and saving of two men from the vessel "Grampa Woo" on Oct. 31, 1996 during storm force winds and 18 ft. seas on Lake Superior. Congratulations on a job well done.

Published on 18 Dec 2015 On ‘Devil’s Night’ October 30, 1996, in pitch blackness, hurricane force winds and a 20 foot cross-sea on Lake Superior, the crew of the Thunder Bay tug Glenada rescued 2 Americans stranded onboard a drifting yacht named Grampa Woo. What has been called a "mysterious lull" - a momentary calming of the waves - occurred during the rescue attempt, placing both vessels on the same level for an instant and allowing the standed sailors be lifted aboard Glenada, literally by the seat of their pants. Grampa Woo later smashed against Isle Royale and sank (the beginning of the film shows the mangled wreckage).

A Canadian Coast Guard cutter, the Westfort, was standing by during the rescue but unable to help because it was icing up in the freezing spray and rolling rail-to-rail as the crew desperately tried to avoid capsizing.

Once the Americans were safely aboard Glenada, both vessels ran for shelter on the Sleeping Giant penninsula. But Lake Superior - and whatever dark forces were swirling around them that night - took one more stab at Westfort: catatonic winds spun the vessel in a circle just 100 feet from shore. Glenada shone it's searchlight to help the crew get its bearings and both ships finally beached like whales at Tee Harbour to wait out the storm.


For more Russel exhibits visit Owen Sound Marine & Rail Museum 1165 1st Ave West, Owen Sound, ON N4K 4K8
(519) 371-3333