Recreational boaters who unexpectedly need on-water help for the routine such as towing, ungrounding, battery jump-starts and fuel drop-offs now have professional 24/7 assistance with the opening of TowBoatUS Fort Gibson Lake.
The local business was started last summer by Steven Rhoades when he opened his first location, TowBoatUS Grand Lake. It is the third TowBoatUS location in the Sooner State. Rhoades’ company is part of a nationwide network of more than 300 TowBoatUS locations that responded to more than 80,000 requests from boaters for on water assistance last year.
“Fort Gibson Lake boaters deserve a full-time towing service,” said Rhoades, a former Marine. “Our marina, law enforcement and fire department friends on the lake are supportive of us having a presence here as their time is better spent responding to emergencies.” Rhoades reports that his No. 1 request for on-water help is due to engine breakdowns. He notes that many of his company’s response vessel captains come from the local fire department ranks, however, he advises that boaters should always call 911 or use VHF radio channel 16 to summon emergency assistance.
The company’s 24-hour towing response vessel, easily recognized by its bright red hull with “TowBoatUS” in white letters on each side, is stationed at Whitehorn Cove Marina. Separate from BoatUS on-water towing services, the company offers boat salvage, environment remediation and dive services.