Jack Walsh, billed as the “World’s Strongest Man,” carried a horse up a ladder, hoisted a 2,700 pound elephant (on a 400 lb, platform with the 180 lb. handler), and even held back a DC3 air transport plane as if it was a toy on a string. But a Jersey City tugboat was the victor in a 1966 waterfront tug of war.
Herbie the Mailman (many years later both postman and customer to the Tunnel Bar) happened to be a hand on the boat that fateful day. Herbie remembered how the strongman had called a number of time outs to get a better grip, try a different stance, the sun was in his eyes, etc. As the tugboat pulled away from the dock yet again, Walsh, skidding along to the river, was yelling for the powerful vessel to stop. The boat’s captain — using a quaint Hudson County colloquialism to tell the crew that he’d tired of the farce — kept the engine going, dunking the modern day Hercules in the Hudson.
Jack Walsh was quoted by the Associated Press: “That damn tug is too strong. It’s 50 times more powerful than the airliner.” On the Alan Burke TV show, Jack Walsh related the incident without animosity. The weight lifter said that since it was a warm day, he hadn’t minded taking a little swim.