SOUTHOLD, N.Y. – Hurricane Arthur’s impact on boaters along the East Coast led to a quiet 4th of July, followed by a busy holiday weekend after the storm passed. Sea Tow’s National Dispatch Center saw an overall 20% decrease in call volume compared to 2013 because of the lack of boating on Friday, but the activity on Saturday and Sunday showed some of the highest call volume numbers in a decade.
Many Sea Tow members benefited financially from their membership over the July 4th weekend. “A Sea Tow Membership saved our customers over $900,000 over the holiday period since they didn’t have to pay out of pocket for member services,” said Capt. Joseph Frohnhoefer III, Sea Tow Chief Operations Officer.
Sea Tow’s U.S. Coast Guard-licensed Captains provided a wide variety of services to boaters on the water throughout the July 4th weekend. More than 50 percent of the calls Sea Tow received over the long weekend were to request a boat tow, with other on-water assistance services ranging from delivering fuel and jump starts, to responding to emergency situations and helping to save lives.
On July 4th, Capt. Ernie Croft of Sea Tow Clearwater/Port Richey rescued a 49-year-old woman who had been separated from her boat while snorkeling for scallops near Homosassa, Fla. The woman, Dora Steed, was stranded in the water overnight during a storm before Capt. Croft found her on deserted Green Key Island. “She was in good spirits,” he said. “She had a smile on her face. She was just thirsty.”
Reflecting the times, Sea Tow reported that this year 14 percent of the calls for assistance it received over the July 4th holiday were via the Sea Tow App for smartphones, which allows boaters to call for help with the swipe of a finger, along with providing GPS location, weather and tides, and other valuable information.
Sea Tow Founder and CEO Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer praised the performance of the Sea Tow Dispatch Center staff, who put in over 700 combined hours during the long weekend, as well as all the Sea Tow Captains and their support teams across the nation. “As always, we are proud of the outstanding job they did across the U.S. to help boaters stay safe and have fun during the holiday weekend,” he said. “Our members and other boaters know that Sea Tow is there 24/7 to provide them with with peace of mind on the water during the summer boating season and beyond.”