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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the book or the early draft.
"Rubbish can be valuable stuff!"
Lord Stinker

High Tide is the seventh episode of TUGS.


Big Mac arrives at the Star Dock, covered in coal dust from funnel to hull, having worked all the night long at the coal yard. Top Hat rudely teases him for it. Warrior states that Big Mac doesn't smell from coal, but Top Hat declares they should have a reputation to be clean before coming to the Star Dock and Warrior defends his brother until Captain Star begins the briefing. He sends Top Hat to pick up Lord Stinker after car-ferry jobs, much to his disgust. Top Hat fails to argue his way out of it, and he heads on his way. Captain Star sends O.J. to deliver a new propeller from Lucky's Yard to the liner in dry dock. Sunshine is then sent to help Ten Cents at the storage depot, after which Sunshine will help O.J., who tells Sunshine he will need all the help he can get with the propeller. Sunshine promises to help. Big Mac and Warrior are sent to pick up steel, and Captain Star warns them to be careful, as the highest tide in years is taking place. Big Mac tells Warrior they will show the Z-Stacks after a quick washdown. Warrior decides to hose down Big Mac as they travel along to save some time.

Due to the high tide, Ten Cents and Sunshine find the quayside flooded, and they will have to work twice as hard to rescue their barge load. On the other side of the harbour, the steel company is preparing for its move to its new works across the bay, which Big Mickey is helping them with. Big Mac and Warrior arrive and run into Zebedee and Zak, who are also competing for the steel contract. Zak and Zebedee jokingly count Warrior on the Z-Stacks side because of all the trouble he caused, and leave with their heavy load. Big Mickey loads the steel and wishes Big Mac and Warrior luck as they begin their trip to the new steelworks location. Shortly after, Zebedee and Zak decide to cut through the canal, seeing as it is too narrow for both them and the Stars to go through at the same time. Big Mac and Warrior find out about this, but they need not worry about losing the contract because with Zebedee's tall load, the high tide, and low bridges, the Z-Stacks are sure to get their due.

Meanwhile, Top Hat is also going through the canal with Frank, Eddie and Lord Stinker. He spots the two Z-Stacks, and they argue over who will pass and who will turn back. Zebedee and Top Hat both try to go through, but then Top Hat backs away, seeing that Zebedee's load will hit the railway bridge. Having put on full power, Zebedee cannot reverse, and winds up ramming his load into the railway bridge. As he and Zak go for help, Puffa (though not mentioned by name) (pulling the mail train) makes his way toward the bridge, which has been weakened by Zebedee's steel. Top Hat has an idea. He plans to prop the bridge up with Zebedee's load. The steel is put into place, and it holds up long enough for the mail train to pass.

Unfortunately, the steel collapses along with the bridge soon after, just as Little Owl (called The Goods Engine) makes its way towards it. Lord Stinker has an idea: to attempt to catch the train by waiting in front of the broken rail. His idea works, and no serious damage is caused to Owl or its wagons. The next day, Zebedee and Zak help repair the bridge. The Steel Company is not happy about the damage they have done to their steel rig, and the Star Fleet are given the steel contract as the bridge is rebuilt, whilst the Steel Company are paid for supplying the metal.



Deleted Scenes

See: Deleted Scenes


  • This episode marks Big Mickey and Eddie's last speaking roles.
  • Hercules, Zorran and Zug are the only Star and Z tugs that do not appear in this episode.
  • This is Little Owl's only distinct role.
  • This is the only episode in which Ten Cents is not part of the main storyline.
  • This is the final episode where Scuttlebutt Pete appears.
  • During this season this is the only episode, apart from the intro, to feature Izzy Gomez in port.
  • This marks the only appearance of the railway crane.
  • During production, the episode was originally titled "Railhead", with this name being dropped a few months before the series was first broadcasted on CiTV. It was previously thought to have been a cancelled episode that had Hercules, Top Hat, Frank and Eddie as the focus, with this seemingly debunked by schedules for post-production, which used "Railhead" instead of "High Tide".
  • Going by production order, this is the seventh episode of the series.


  • In the close-ups of Zebedee moving toward the bridge, his load is either not moving, or moving at a slower pace than he is.
  • Sunshine is never shown going to help O.J. with the propeller, even though he promised that he would be there. It's unknown if this is ever clarified in the 20 minute version.
  • When Big Mac arrives covered in coal, the coal makes a dark circle around his mouth. In a later shot, the dark circle is gone, due to Big Mac wearing a different face.
  • In the close up of Big Mac saying, "You be careful, Warrior," his eyes look wonky.
  • As Zebedee and the steel rig head towards the bridge, in one shot Top Hat reverses with his load, but when it cuts back to Zebedee, he is still there.
  • When Top Hat and Zebedee charge at the bridge, Top Hat is not moving in one of the shots.
  • When Top Hat and Lord Stinker move the steel rig into place, Top Hat's bow ropes are missing, then in another shot, they're back again.
  • When the bridge collapses completely, a small flame can be seen at the end of the tracks, which disappears in the next shot.
  • In the first shot of Puffa, he has two coaches, but in the next shot he only has one.
  • When Top Hat and Lord Stinker head to the steel load, Lord Stinker is beside it, but when Top Hat pulls it under the bridge, he is behind it.
  • When Big Mac says, "We've as much right to go for this contract as you have" and "Zak's engine doesn't sound too healthy, Warrior," he is already hooked up to his barge and facing the other way. The same thing happens with Warrior when Zebedee says, "We count you on our side."
  • In two scenes, the reflection of the lighting equipment of the studio can be seen in the water.
  • A caboose should have been attached to Little Owl's train.
  • When Top Hat gets Lord Stinker into place, the air shot is sped up (tellable by the water) and Zak appears to be standing beside the building around the corner, even though he should be getting help.
  • When Lord Stinker says, "Rubbish can be valuable stuff," he is in a different part of the harbour, and Little Owl is chained to his hull.
  • When Little Owl is first shown nearing the bridge, the flat truck is derailed.


Season 1

Season 2 >>

#01 Sunshine #05 Munitions #10 Jinxed
#02 Pirate #06 Warrior #11 High Winds
#03 Trapped #07 High Tide #12 Up River
#04 Regatta #08 Quarantine #13 Bigg Freeze
#09 Ghosts