Originally constructed by Upper Peninsula Shipbuilding of Ontonagon, Michigan (hull #101) for the State of Michigan. The unit was never named, prior to her completion.
Constructed as an Integrated Tug and Barge (ITB) unit, with a barge that was not named prior to her completion either. The unit was an ill-fated attempt to replace abandoned the Cross Lake Railway Lines with a state owned, and operated unit. The service would have consisted of one tug, and three, to four barges.
During the construction of the first unit, the shipyard went bankrupt. And the State of Michigan abandoned the project. The uncompleted tug was towed to Saulte Ste Marie, Michigan. Where it was "laid up."
In 1991, the unit was acquired by Robert Bludworth of Houston, Texas. The uncompleted tug, and barge were towed to Houston, Texas. Where the work was completed at the Bludworth Shipyard of Houston, Texas. The work included the enclosing of her bow, and the installation of a Bludworth coupler system.
In 1997, the completed unit was acquired by Robert Bludworth of Houston, Texas. Where the tug was named as the Thunder. And, her barge was named as the Lighting. The barge's notch was modified to receive a Bludworth coupler system. With a capacity of 70,000(bbls) of liquid cargoes in lower tanks. And 380(TEU) in the enclosed deck space, and on the upper open deck.
In 1998, the unit was acquired by Odyssea Vessels Incorporated of Berwick, Louisiana. Where the tug, and the barge retained their names.
In 2007, the unit was acquired by the Foss Maritime Company of Seattle, Washington. Where the tug, and the barge retained her name.
In 2017, she was scrapped.
Powered by two, six cylinder, Caterpillar 6M551AK diesel engines. Turning two, bronze, controllable pitch propellers. She was a twin screw tug, rated at 8,800 horsepower.
Her electrical service is provided by three, 400kW generator sets. The tug's capacities are 220,055 gallons of fuel, and 11,359 gallons of water.
(Fred Miller II, Kyle Stubbs)