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Zack Livermore is the captain of the tugboat Princess Judy , which is named after the little girl who lives on it. Also living on the boat are Steve, a curmudgeonly engineer, and handsome, young Bob Norfolk. When representatives from the Children's Welfare Society pay a visit to the tugboat and begin to question Judy, Steve tells them to go away. While playing with her dog Muzzle, Judy falls into the water and breaks her leg. Zack takes her to the James B. Martin Private Hospital, where he learns that she needs two months of expensive medical care. Zack has no money, so Bob swallows his pride and goes to Zach's competitor, Captain Darling, and asks him for loan of $1,000, which he promises to repay in sixty days with interest. Bob falls in love with Sally Booth, a nurse at the hospital, and takes her with him when he brings Judy back to the tug. As Judy is preparing to celebrate her birthday, representatives from the Children's Welfare Society arrive with a court order and take her to an orphanage. Although Bob has earned nearly enough money to pay off the loan, Darling refuses to grant Zach a one day extension, so Bob is forced to take a job hauling lumber at night. Judy, meanwhile, escapes from the orphanage, and has a policeman and a taxi driver take her back to The Princess Judy at Monroe Wharf. The tug, however, has left the wharf and is now in the harbor, where Zack sees Darling's big ocean liner, the Georgiana , heading for the banks. Thinking quickly, Zack sacrifices the Princess Judy to save Darling's vessel. After being reunited with Judy, Zack is surprised by Darling's gratitude and his gift of $11,000 to repair the Princess Judy . Darling also appoints Zack captain of his new tug, and gives a tug to Bob as well, who then marries Sally at Darling's home.