Boaters stay close to home

SOUTHOLD, N.Y. – Sea Tow Services International Inc., an international marine assistance organization, had what it called “a moderately busy Fourth of July holiday” despite boaters staying closer to home than in past years, it reported in a recent statement.

“Boaters across the country celebrated the holiday despite high fuel prices both on land and on the water,” said Capt. Joseph Frohnhoefer III, Sea Tow’s vice president of operations. “Reports from across the country indicate that boaters stayed close to home this year, however, that trend could be equally reflective of the unpredictable weather patterns that plagued much of the East Coast as it is of current economic conditions.”

While call volume at the company’s 24-hour national dispatch center was statistically on par with last year, it experienced a 30-percent increase in the number of requests for on-water assistance.

Of the more than 1,100 service calls reported, there were: 682 tows, 119 ungroundings, 103 fuel drop requests, 99 jump starts, 61 salvages, 19 maydays and 11 MARBS. Nearly 25 percent of the calls came during off-peak hours (between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.), and Sea Tow captains were involved in at least a half-dozen life-saving incidents across the country. Sea Tow Fort Myers, Fla., Sea Tow Wrightsville Beach, N.C., and Sea Tow Palm Beach, Fla., reported the highest activity levels in the network.

Sea Tow’s franchise network employed over 600 staffers and had more than 350 boats on patrol that burned in excess of 20,000 gallons of fuel while assisting boaters in need throughout the three-day weekend. Over 150 boats and numerous man-hours were also volunteered to local fireworks celebrations throughout the country, according to the company.

Sea Tow also reported a 42-percent increase over last year in online membership sales during the week of July Fourth.

The results of this year’s statistical analysis include the Sea Tow network’s activity level from Friday, July 4 through Sunday, July 6, with more than 80 percent of the network reporting.

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