MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) today recognized Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer with the Charles F. Chapman Award for his distinguished career spanning more than 40 years in the boating industry. Frohnhoefer received the Award this morning during the annual Recreational Boating Industry Breakfast held at the Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show & Strictly Sail.
First established in 1977, the Chapman Award recognizes individuals or groups that have provided consistent promotion and protection of the sport of boating and its benefits to both the recreational boating industry and the public. The award, presented each year during the Miami show, includes a $1,000 donation to a marine-oriented organization of the recipient’s choice.
“NMMA is honored to recognize Joe for his extensive achievements in improving the boating experience for our nation’s 88 million boaters,” noted NMMA President Thom Dammrich. “Joe’s passion for life on the water combined with his commitment to boater safety have helped shape how our industry serves boaters while they’re out on the water, creating a better boating experience from coast-to-coast.”
Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer, CEO and Founder of Sea Tow Services International, based in Southold, NY, is an avid boater with an unwavering interest in serving the public. In 1965, he started Water Thrills Inc., a marine company offering Water Skiing instruction, Red Cross Swimming instruction, sailboat and powerboat rentals. During this time, he also served as a volunteer emergency medical technician, firefighter, reaching the rank of Captain, and was president of the North Fork Lions Club and Mattituck Gun Club.
In 1982, a change in the United States Coast Guard (USCG) regulations led to the decision that the USCG would no longer tow in non-emergency situations. The opportunity to combine his life saving skills, commitment to public service, entrepreneurial spirit and love of the water was the inspiration for Frohnhoefer to found Sea Tow Services International Inc. in 1983.
Continuing his goal of giving back to the boating public, Capt. Joe founded the Sea Tow Foundation in 2007 with the goal of providing tools and education to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities on the water. To date the Sea Tow Foundation has provided over 20,000 life jackets to the boating public via its Life Jacket Loaner program. Today, you can still find Captain Joe towing boats in the waters of Long Island Sound, Peconic Bay and off the coast of Montauk.