Munitions is the 5th episode of TUGS.
The towing and replenishing of naval munitions vessels is a very important and risky job. One such vessel, a tramper named Kraka-Toa, is being towed by Hercules. All is going well until Sergeant Bluenose, the officious naval tug, comes along. Uppity, Bluenose insists that Hercules may not continue on until he has made an inspection. Hercules steams off, finished with the run, ignoring him.
Hercules speaks to O.J., complaining about Bluenose. O.J. tells him he has been having the same problem, over some buoys. He tells him about the danger of loading munitions and fuel aboard the same ship. Hercules goes to have a rest at the Coal Depot. Bluenose comes by, still being overbearingly bossy before moving on to bother the Fire Chief too.
At the Star Pier, Captain Star informs the tugs they will be carrying munitions for the Navy; the Z-Stacks having the explosives. Warrior is given garbage detail, Top Hat is to transport car floats, Ten Cents is sent to Lucky's Yard to pickup oil to take to the Naval yard, and Sunshine is to take Mighty Mo home. Captain Star thanks Big Mac for winning the steel contract, and tells him to collect the last girder barge.
The Z-Stacks, meanwhile, are picking up the explosives from the munitions factory, which are to be delivered to the Naval tramper, Kraka-Toa.
Ten Cents, now with the oil barge, is ordered about by Bluenose, who tells him to move out of the way. Bluenose purposely scrapes the barge, which shocks Ten Cents and makes him very cross. "Z-Stacks are bad enough, but Bluenose... he's something else," he concludes after Bluenose leaves.
Night falls. Big Mickey the crane is transferring the munitions to Kraka-Toa when Bluenose arrives and starts issuing orders just as Zorran is unloading his barge, which OJ says cannot be moved at this time. But Bluenose does not listen to anyone's warnings about the danger of munitions and pushes in, bumping the barge hard, resulting in a fire starting. The tugs, present, back away from the flames, but Bluenose is unable to because his engine has failed, so Ten Cents bravely tows him out of danger. The fire expands with continuous explosions. Big Mickey's dock catches fire and he tips over and falls into the water while Kraka-Toa begins to burn.
Meanwhile, further away, Top Hat is towing Frank and Eddie, the rail floats. They see the lights in the sky. Eddie thinks there is “a dockside celebration,” but Top Hat corrects him, “If there was a party, I would have been invited". Suddenly, Sunshine and the Fire Chief rush by, on the way to the fire.
Puffa, the tank engine, is very close to the flames. The tugs shout to warn him and he makes it out just in the nick of time. To make matters worse, the Star line oil barge catches fire, so Ten Cents jumps in to move it despite the risk of an explosion.
Nearby, Warrior and Lord Stinker, the garbage barge, see the lights in the sky too. Lord Stinker thinks the sky is red. "Red sky at night, sailor's delight". But Warrior tells him that the sun went down ages go, and that the light is coming from the north, not the west, where the sun normally shines. Realizing there is a fire, Warrior leaves Lord Stinker at the dock and rushes to the scene.
The Fire Chief has now finally arrived, ordering everyone to stay back. OJ informs how it was Bluenose’s fault. The Fire Chief tells Sunshine to douse the flames with the fire barge. Ten Cents continues with the oil barge, intending to push it out to sea. Warrior arrives, and is told by the Fire Chief to use his fire hose. "There's two things wrong with that order, mister. Warrior don't move fast. His lights may be on but there's no one there," says Zorran cheekily. But the Fire Chief replies "At least he's in there, Zorran". Sunshine bravely fights the fire; Warrior is hit square in the face by a bit of debris. Eventually, the Fire Chief orders him to move out, but Warrior refuses to abandon Puffa, who has been badly stung. "I've gotta look after Puffa. He's a mighty valuable friend. Gotta look after your friends, you know," he says. The Fire Chief then tells Zorran to help him with the other fire barge in an attempt to save Kraka-Toa. Zorran cannot see the barge doing much good, but Zebedee persuades him. "Go on, Zorran. Show them who's a real hero".
Out at sea, Ten Cents is still pushing the burning oil barge. Suddenly, he notices it is starting to smoke. Realizing it will explode, Ten Cents reverses immediately, but it's a bit too late as a large explosion occurs. Sunshine sees it and is worried Ten Cents is in the blast, but it is too dangerous so he is not allowed to go and help his friend. The Fire Chief relieves Zorran and warns everyone that Kraka-Toa is about to capsize. She sinks into the water with one final blast out of her smokestack. OJ surveys the aftermath. However, thanks to Sunshine and Warrior, the fire was unable to spread towards the city. Top Hat arrives, rather too late, for which the Z-Stacks make fun of him. "Get a drift of that, will you lads? Top Hat, all dressed up and nowhere to go."
The next morning, the tugs think Ten Cents did not survive the explosion. Before they can salute the brave tug, a familiar whistle is heard in the near distance and Ten Cents appears out of the fog. He is covered from stem to stern in soot. He explains how he was immobilized due to the explosion flooding his engine, but thankfully, Grampus rescued him before he sank. With that, Grampus, laughing heartily, tows a disgraced and still stunned Bluenose away. Captain Star concludes with a lesson on the dangers of fire for the viewers as Bluenose is hauled back home.
- Captain Star (narration only)
- Ten Cents
- Top Hat
- Big Mickey
- Fire Tug
- Frank and Eddie
- Kraka-Toa (does not speak)
- Puffa (does not speak)
- Zug (cameo)
- Zip (cameo)
- Coast Guard (cameo)
- Izzy Gomez (cameo)
- Captain Zero (mentioned)
VHS Version Exclusives