Built in 1979, by Main Iron Works Incorporated of Houma, Louisiana (hull #345) as the Freedom for the Interstate Oil Transportation Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
At the time, the Interstate Oil Transportation Company operated two fleets. Their Northeast Fleet, which was referred to as the "Green Fleet." Operated in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. And their Southern Fleet, which was referred to as the "White fleet" which operated out of Tampa, Florida.
In 1981, the Interstate Oil Transportation Company was acquired by the Southern National Resources Company of Birmingham, Alabama. The new company was named the SONAT Marine Company Incorporated of Birmingham, Alabama. Where the tug retained her name.
In 1987, the SONAT Marine Company was acquired by the the Maritrans Operating Partnership of Tampa, Florida. Where the tug retained her name. Maritrans was formed by group of managers from the SONAT Marine Company. Who offered to form a partnership to raise the funds necessary to purchase the company. These eleven partners included some individuals who had worked for the Interstate Oil Transportation Company since the 1950's.
In March of 1989, the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound near Valdez, Alaska. And in 1990, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 was passed calling for the double hulling of all petroleum carrying vessels by January 1st of 2015. As well, as other stipulations that effected Maritrans including manning, preparedness, and spill prevention. Maritrans filed suit to fight the stipulations set fourth by OPA '90.
By the mid 1990's, the Maritrans Operating Partners had begun to consolidate its business. By first, backing out of the black oil trade, and carrying only petroleum products and petrochemicals. The phosphate trade, and local transportation in Baltimore, Maryland that was part of the Harbor Towing subsidiary did not fit into Maritrans's new business model. As Maritrans backed out local transportation companies emerged, and established operations in the area. They included the Bouchard Transportation Company of Melville, New York and the Vane Brothers Company of Baltimore, Maryland.
In 2006, the Maritrans Operating Partners was acquired by Overseas Shipholding Group of New York, New York. Where the tug was renamed as the OSG Freedom.
In 2013, the tug was acquired by the Falgout Brothers of Global Towing Services Incorporated of LaRose, Louisiana. Where she was renamed as the Zion M. Falgout.
In 2017, the tug was completely rebuilt. The work included shortening the tug's stacks, as well as, the tug's upper wheelhouse was removed, and her main wheelhouse was rebuilt with the addition of an enclosed stern control station. She is powered by two, sixteen cylinder, EMD 12-645-E5 diesel engines. With Lufkin reduction gears, at a ratio of 5.02:1. Turning two, 111(in) by 118(in), four bladed, stainless steel, fixed pitch propellers, in kort nozzles. She is a twin screw tug, rated at 5,750 horsepower.
Her electrical service is provided by two, 6.8 liter, Tier II compliant, 99kW, generator sets. Driven by two, John Deere diesel engines. The tug's capacities are 100,000 gallons of fuel, 2,800 gallons of lube oil, and 18,000 gallons of water.
The towing equipment consists of a Smatco double drum towing winch. Outfitted with 2,200(ft) of 2(in) towing wire on the primary drum. And 2,200(ft) of 2(in) towing wire on the secondary drum.
(Captain Eric Takakjian)