Video: For a towboat deckhand, life on the river means long days but lots of pride

    Dustin Frazee works alongside a barge full of coal before he and the rest of the crew of the D.L. Johnson begin moving it east along the Ohio River toward Pittsburgh. (Ryan Loew/For Keystone Crossroads)

    Dustin Frazee works alongside a barge full of coal before he and the rest of the crew of the D.L. Johnson begin moving it east along the Ohio River toward Pittsburgh. (Ryan Loew/For Keystone Crossroads)

    Watch Amherst Madison deckhand Ryan Gilleran describe life on a towboat transporting barges full of coal, and other materials, up and down America’s waterways.

    Watch Amherst Madison deckhand Ryan Gilleran describe life on a towboat transporting barges full of coal, and other materials, up and down America’s waterways. When they deliver road salt to towns in the winter or coal to power plants in the middle of the night, Gilleran says he and his fellow “towboaters” feel like unsung heroes, helping to keep the roads clear and the lights on.

    Produced by Ryan Loew for The Allegheny Front’s series Headwaters, exploring the Ohio River, in partnership with West Virginia Public Broadcasting with support from the Benedum Foundation and the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds.

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