Yes a sad ending for a great tug, but everything has to end, eventually.
I inspected the John Ross a couple of times for “Tow Approval” when she was used for long distance towage of rigs etc.
In 1985 I did a memorable tow with the sistership “Wolraad Woltemade” (AKA “not the John Ross but the other one with the difficult name”) Seen here together in better days:
Now both gone.
The tow was of the Argentine J/U Rig “Rio Colorado I” from Bahia San Sebastian, Tierra del Fuego to Puerto Madryn, Argentina for loadout on HLV Dyvi Swan and transport to Italy.
Not a long tow, nor one that would normally require the use of a tug of this size. The weather conditions on the Patagonia coast justified the use of WW, however.
The Master on WW was Capt. Jack Golden, famous from his many years with United Towage.
His favourit saying was; “let’s see which way the cat jumps”, which he got ample opportunities to use on that tow. (But that is a long and different story)