Built in 1997, with 4,000 bhp and fire-fighting capability, she is essentially the same as Atlantic Willow built in 1998. Atlantic Oak rounds out the trio. Built in 2004, with 5,050 bhp and also fitted for firefighting, it is used for tethered escort work.
This Atlantic Spruce is the second tug of the name in the fleet. The first, and also the first in a series built in Georgetown PEI by East Isle Shipyard, was built in 1995. In 1997 it was sold to Johannes Ostensjo of Norway and renamed Felix. It is still operating for Ostensjo Rederi AS. Also a 4,000 bhp ASD tug, it was not equipped with fire fighting gear.
Although there have only been two Atlantic Spruces, the name was previously used by Atlantic Towing's parent company J.D.Irving Ltd. The tug Irving Spruce worked on the St. John River, at first with log booms, and later with chip barges, supplying Irving Pulp + Paper's mill at the Reversing Falls in Saint John, NB.
Built as TANAC 68 in 1944 by Central Bridge Co in Trenton, ON the standard tug is reputed to have worked for the U.S.Army, and was later renamed Quebec before joining J.D.Irving Ltd. They added the elevated wheelhouse, and made other upgrades to suit the tug to the work.
Its last job was towing a chip barge out of Grand Lake, NB (which it was doing in the above photo). It was laid up and finally taken to sea and scuttled October 25, 1991.