Sea Tow expects to recover 1,500 boats

GULFPORT, Miss. – About a month after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf region, Sea Tow Services International is estimating its vessel recovery efforts will triple those of Ivan and Frances last year.

This equates, according to Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer, Chairman and CEO of Sea Tow, to over 1,500 individual claims from the various insurance providers Sea Tow is working with. As such, Sea Tow’s disaster recovery team, which currently includes over 50 people working seven days a week, will remain in the affected region for at least three more months, the company reported in a recent statement.

Despite day-to-day working conditions that can include over 100-degree temperatures, air dense with bugs and extensive mud, employees are recovering vessels at a clip of 20 to 30 per day.

Capt. Frohnhoefer, who served as the primary liaison between Sea Tow and the Coast Guard, local and state authorities throughout the first month, reported that ground communications have also been significantly repaired.

According to Capt. Frohnhoefer, “Within the first few days after the hurricane hit, Sea Tow utilized hi-site antennas in both Waveland and Gulfport to create a VHF radio network at a time when rapid, real-time communication was imperative. This network not only helped our Sea Tow operators with our own coastwise operations, but it was also utilized by Coast Guard Air Station Mobile to switch from HF to VHF in order to better communicate with their ground operations.”

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