Tidewater barges ahead water transportation firm focuses on growth

This story originally appeared in The Columbian.

It's a chilly and unrelentingly gray Tuesday, but the belly of the tugboat Chief is warm as the crew prepares to feast on a pork roast.

The five-member crew's captain, Mark Cline, who's spent 23 years employed by Tidewater Barge Lines -- the Chief's owner -- stood inside the tug's kitchen, his mind on Mother Nature.

Although the Columbia River looked fairly affable and calm that day, Mother Nature often ensures the river is neither of those things. His top priorities, Cline said, are "just keeping everybody safe and keeping the tow in one piece." On the water, he added, "we don't go in a straight line."

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