Sea Tow Services International – started in 1983 by Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer in response to the U.S. Coast Guard’s decision to cease servicing boaters in non-emergency situations – celebrated 35 years in business on Sept. 3.
A pioneer of the marine assistance industry, the Long Island-based company has since grown to more than 100 locations serving thousands of communities across the United States, Canada, Europe and the Caribbean.
Frohnhoefer’s son and daughter, Joseph Frohnhoefer III and Kristen Frohnhoefer, now follow in their father’s footsteps as they lead Sea Tow into its 35th year providing services – from tows and fuel deliveries to salvage and recovery, environmental clean-up and more – to Sea Tow members and boaters all over the world.
“Our father left some big shoes to fill, but Kristen and I couldn’t be more honored to continue the family tradition of helping boaters in need,” said Joseph, the company’s CEO. “My father always said, ‘A bad day out on the water is a thousand times better than a good day at a work, especially when you are a Sea Tow member,’ and I couldn’t agree more. It’s been such a pleasure being able to work with the amazing network of captains and other crew that are part of Sea Tow and spending each and every day doing what I love.”
Sea Tow captains – in their distinctive yellow boats – have earned the reputation as “everyday heroes” in boating communities both big and small.
Over the past 35 years, they have been there to lend a hand, saving countless lives and helping both members and nonmembers get the assistance they need, 24/7, 365.
Capt. John McLaughlin – owner of franchises in Atlantic City, New Jersey and Marco Island, Florida – has been a part of Sea Tow since the 1990s and has seen this effect firsthand.
“I’ve been with Sea Tow for more than 23 years now,” McLaughlin said. “I’ve been a part of its incredible growth from a licensing company to its current franchise model. The way Sea Tow is run with honesty and integrity and the high expectations that Capt. Joe – and now Joseph and Kristen – have keep you prepared for when disaster strikes.
“Just getting through hurricanes and other disasters, I can’t say enough how many wonderful comments I received from insurance companies and other responders about the level of professionalism they experience when they deal with Sea Tow,” he added. “I never thought I’d be this proud to wear that yellow shirt.”