Chance Meeting While Surfing Led Guy Beckwith to Job at Foss Maritime
By Bruce Sherman (This article first appeared in the December 2015 edition of Foss Tow Bitts, the official publication of Foss Maritime)
Guy Beckwith had worked more than three decades in the maritime industry, and for many of those years thought Foss would be a great place to work. He got his chance in 2007 while surfing in San Diego when he met Jim Russell, then southern California port captain.
“He said, ‘I work for Foss, and if we have an opening, you should come over,’” Beckwith said. “We kept in contact for a couple of years and finally the timing was right. I came in for an interview in 2009, was hired as an operator, and I’ve been here ever since.”
After six years working for Foss as a tug captain out of Long Beach, Beckwith was named SOCAL port captain recently, replacing Paul Hendriks, who now is Foss regional operations manager in Portland.
A San Diego native, Beckwith went to work in the tuna fishing industry after high school, driving speedboats chasing porpoise and tuna all over the western Pacific. After about 15 years, when that industry faded in the early 1980s, he went to work in the offshore oil industry.
Becoming a captain, Beckwith ran big OSVs (Oil Service Vessels) up to 260 feet in length that supplied rigs with pipe and other drilling supplies off the coast of California and in the Gulf of Mexico. He subsequently got into towing, including delivering oilrigs overseas to such places as the Middle East and West Africa.
He got his first taste of harbor towing in 2005 when he went to work for a company that had a contract with the Navy in Kings Bay, Georgia, and Mayport, Florida. He worked for the same company on a Navy contract in San Diego, then worked in commercial towing in the East and in the Hawaiian Islands before landing at Foss.
The move to his current job ashore was somewhat challenging for Beckwith, who notes, “I just love being on the water . . . but the transition is going just fine, better than I thought it would.”
And coming to Foss, he said, was one of the best moves he’s ever made.
“When I was hired, my wife said, ‘You have arrived. It took you this long to do it, but you are here, and make the best of it.’”