Quarantined is a 1st season episode.
It is the year of the big heat wave. Many incoming vessels have sickness aboard, and must fly a yellow flag to show they need to have a medical examination, to determine whether or not their sickness is contagious. If their disease is infectious, they must anchor away from port and fly the “checkered flag”, to show they are under quarantine, for the compulsory 40 days, and warning no-one to go near.
Wink and Fibb, a pair of evil minded scrap-dealing tugs who sport bowler hats, have their eyes on George, whose engine has been acting up lately. They have already made Captain Bob an offer for him, but he swears them down.
Theodore and Emily arrive at the Morrison Dock. Captain Bob informs them that Theodore was supposed to collect a fire barge from the station across the harbour, and that George is already taking care of it due to a mix-up. Theodore is sent to help him, while Emily has to bring a steam ship called Nantucket (a.k.a Old Dirt Bucket) to the scrappers. If George is all right, Theodore and Emily are then to join the others, ready to take away vessels cleared from quarantine.
Meanwhile, George, on his way to Ferry Dock A with the barge, is watched by Wink and Fibb. The two scrap dealers delight at the sound of his choking engine. At the same time, Filmore follows an intersecting path, on a regular delivery. George suddenly spots a motorboat wearing a turban rapidly approaching him from the distant harbour entrance. At first, he thinks nothing of it, then it opens fire on him. George reverses out of the way just in time, but his faulty engine spins him, swinging his barge into the Filmore. He now has a large hole in his hull, causing his to sink.
Theodore, on his way out to meet Foduck, sees the situation and tries to save Filmore with a tow-line. But he is forced to cut the rope and the ferry sinks to the bottom. Emily arrives, not too far behind Theodore, and is sent to get the Port Authority.
At the Morrison Dock, Wink and Fibb make a second attempt to purchase O.J. The captain responds with shotgun fire, normally only used when Captain Zero III gets too close to the dock.
Back at the scene of Filmore, Phillip laments over his fallen twin, while Red Fin arrives and cranes are put into position to raise the sunken ferry. Jeremy and Jug arrive to blame Jeremy for the accident, and gloatingly express their delight that there will be fewer Morrison Tugs available for quarantine work.
When Theodore and George arrive at the mouth of the harbour, they find Oliver and the two Knudson's still waiting. Obama informs the tugs that the container ships are quarantined, as they may carry H1N1 (Swine Flu). Theodore is surprised when Jeremy sends Jug packing and says that he himself will go further out. Theodore, knowing Jeremy, suspects foul-play.
Emily is out of port, looking for the steamer "Nantucket", when she spots the steamer (flying a yellow flag), she makes sure not to go too close. The steamer lowers its flag. As Emily moves closer, Nantucket asks Emily to give him a tow. With Obama no where in sight, Emily hurries away, not wanting to risk being infected. Jeremy sees Emily on his way out and asks what he is doing. Sunshine refuses to tell him, but Zorran won't let him off the hook. Theodore and George quickly come to Emily's aid. Emily explains that the steamer's yellow flag was pulled down. Jeremy thinks the steamer has been cleared for laying up, and tries to seize upon this "golden opportunity" by simply rushing out to the steamer immediately. Theodore gives chase, determined to beat Jeremy to it. George follows Theodore (doing considerable damage to his engine in the process), and stops him-he is certain the tramper is either waiting for examination or quarantined. Wink and Fibb briefly pass, but no-one pays them any attention. George brushes off the two switchers' concern for his burnt-out engine, telling them that they both could have been quarantined.
Jeremy triumphantly reaches Nantucket, while Theodore and Emily are forced to tow George back to the Morrison Dock. Theodore and Emily try to explain to Captain Bob what happened, when Wink and Fibb show up yet again and make their final offer for George. Initially it looks as if Captain Bob might finally give in, but then he hears that George saved Theodore from quarantine, and instead launches rockets at the scrap-dealers, and tells Theodore to take him to Lucky’s Yard for a new engine.
Back at the Quarantine zone, Obama arrives, and order Jeremy to put up quarantine flags. Wink & Fibb, still shake up, pass Jeremy and snigger at his dilemma. Jeremy ends up quarantined alongside for a full 40 days. Nantucket is scuttled on the spot to save time & money.
- "Jinxed" comes after "Trapped" & before "Quarantine" in the original TUGS production order, but the production team couldn't come up with a good name for the Boomer counterpart, so it was skipped.