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A Salvage Boat is special type of vessel that are used for marine rescue and recovery operations. Many different types of these vessels operate on Sodor. By order of The Fat Controller, the vessels can only operate during high tide, presumably because their weight prevents them from operating in shallow water during low tide.

The Salvage Barges

These barges, described as "floating cranes", were used to rescue Percy, after he deliberately plunged into the sea at Knapford Harbour. When the tide came in, it was evening when the cranes rescued Percy from the sea, who became too cold, stiff, and filthy to move by himself.


The Railway Series

Companion Volumes

The Yellow Salvage Vessels

These vessels are painted yellow and grey, they are most commonly used when there is an accident near the harbours. Like the previously mentioned barges, they are also described as floating cranes.

In the second series, a yellow salvage vessel (called 'David') was stationed at Brendam Docks and was later used to rescue Percy, who had plunged into the sea after deliberately ignoring the danger sign. The cranes could not operate until high tide, thus only allowing the rescue to occur in the evening. The cranes gently set Percy onto a flatbed, and he was taken to the Works the following morning with Henry's train, as he was too cold, dirty, and stiff to move on his own.

In the third series, the salvage vessel used in the previous series was replaced with a smaller yellow salvage vessel. This was used to recover the China Clay Trucks after Diesel carelessly pushed the trucks to into the sea. In the fourth series, the salvage vessel was then used to help recover Bulstrode and the Troublesome Trucks when Percy accidentally pushed trucks off the quay and into his hull. The vessel later towed Bulstrode to Tidmouth Beach. In the fifth series, the vessel was involved in the recovery process when Henry pulling The Flying Kipper crashed into the bay near the Lighthouse.


Audio Files


First used Last used Sound Effect
Special Attraction Special Attraction


  • On the Series 3 to 5 salvage boat model, the yellow crane section attached to it is actually one of recycled Miniature Cranes used in TUGS.
  • The salvage boat from Series 2 has the name "DAVID" in white lettering on the front of the hull, after director David Mitton. It also reads "SALVAGE" on the lower hull section.
  • It shares the horn from the british ocean liner called SS Arabic But At A Higher Tone.
  • Concept art called for the boat to be simpler with it's crane reused from Crocks Scrap Yard.

The Green Salvage Vessel

This vessel once resided at Brendam Docks. It has a green hull and wheelhouse, cream superstructure, grey frames, red crane arm and a blue and black smokestack.

It only appeared in the second series, and was also used to rescue Percy, who plunged into the sea. It was also described as one of the floating cranes.


Thomas & Friends

The Salvage Tugboats

There were two salvage tugboats which were equipped with cranes mounted on their hulls.

In the fifth series, one of these tugboats salvaged Lorry 1 after he reversed into the sea, it then transported the wrecked lorry to Brendam Docks. Later on, the tugs were involved in the recovery process when Henry crashed into the bay. One of the boats towed Henry to the docks via a barge.

In Thomas and the Magic Railroad, one of these tugs towed a barge containing sludge and Diesel 10, who fell through a gap on the collapsing viaduct. In the sixth series, the tugboats were used to rescue Diesel after he crash landed into a barge as of result of struggling to push and pull a long line of trucks which caused the coupling to snap.


Audio Files

First used Last used Sound Effect
Horrid Lorry Horrid Lorry


  • The salvage tugboats are painted in the same colour scheme as the Z-Stacks' fleet of tugs from Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends' sister series, TUGS. At least one was also repainted to a dirty grey/light brown during the production of Thomas and the Magic Railroad.
  • During the return transit from Thomas and the Magic Railroad, they were seemingly damaged and had to be partially reconstructed. A few changes consist of the removal of the stack, addition of more handrails, a ladder on the opposite side of the superstructure end, and an extra exhaust pipe.
  • In Horrid Lorry one of the salvage tugs can be heard omitting a horn sound that is Bert's in Series 14 but in a slightly higher pitch.


Non-rail vehicles

* RWS only | ** T&F only | *** Other Media only