When recreational boaters need a tow home, a battery jump or fuel drop-off, captains from the red TowBoatUS on-the-water towing fleet are there 24-hours a day to provide routine assistance. When recreational boaters are in grave trouble, TowBoatUS captains don’t hesitate to act.
Ten TowBoatUS captains who acted as Good Samaritans to save lives in 2017 were recently honored by their peers at a ceremony held at the annual BoatUS Towing Conference in Jupiter, Florida, on January 18.
The 10 captains serve TowBoatUS towing locations in Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts and California. These are their actions:
Woody Pollack Lifesaving Award
- Capt. Dallas Kyle Potts, Capt. Andres Rosado, Capt. Jerry Acosta, and Capt. Shane Earhart,TowBoatUS Charlotte Harbor, Florida: With help from a “sixth sense,” the four captains rescued two young anglers after their small boat overturned in stormy harbor waters, nearly drowning the anglers in “washing machine”-like conditions.
Meritorious Service Awards
- Capt. Dale Plummer, Capt. Austin Plummer, TowBoatUS Baltimore, Maryland: After an unmanned sailboat careened ashore with her sails aloft like a ghost ship, the father-and-son team rescued the vessel’s owner at very last light. The man had been in the water nearly seven hours.
- Capt. Nathan Lins, TowBoatUS Catalina, California: One simple mistake nearly cost the life of a sailor who, clad only in board shorts, went overboard while his boat and crew sailed on without him. Lins quickly searched for and rescued the man.
- Capt. Sawyer Smith, TowBoatUS Newburyport, Massachusetts: A man fell off a marina dock and unable to swim, was swept away by a ripping tidal current until Smith dove in to save the man.
- Capt. William ‘Pat’ Davis, TowBoatUS Stuart, Florida: When a father’s 14-year-old son and friend fail to follow procedures while free diving in open, choppy waters and are swept away from the boat, Davis was able to locate the boys a mile away and bring them to safety.
- Capt. James Freeman, TowBoatUS Tarpon Springs, Florida: When a vessel is about to sink, and the only call to go out is to BoatUS National Dispatch, Freeman responds, sets up a search pattern, and rescues two crewmembers a mile from the sunken boat.