Pretty much all across the country there were many more boaters in need of help on the water over this Memorial Day Weekend compared to both 2008 and 2009, according to the folks at Sea Tow. If you will recall, fuel was spiking to $5 per gallon in the spring of 2008 and 2009 saw the Great Recession. Sea Tow’s 24-hour national call center dispatched 69 percent more calls during this holiday weekend (Saturday-Monday) than in 2008, and 54 percent more calls than in 2009. Beautiful weather in waterside communities across the U.S. played a key role in the increased activity, according to Sea Tow. This was a great way to start the new season.
This was photo was taken of Lucy on Memorial Day 2008 by her owner Capt. Ethan Maass, Sea Tow South Shore (Mass.). As you can see, she wasn’t busy that year.
The traditional start of the boating season nationwide, Memorial Day Weekend is often quieter in New England because of cooler temperatures. Not this year. Sea Tow Boston was unusually busy with nearly 20 tows on Saturday and Sunday alone. “A drop in temperature and the arrival of smoke from wildfires in Quebec, Canada, – which reduced visibility to 1 to 1.5 miles – chased some boaters off the water on Monday,” said Capt. Steve Winkler, owner of Sea Tow Boston. “But overall, I see the weekend’s activity as a positive sign for boating this summer.” He added that the Automated Radio Check System* offered by Sea Tow Boston on VHF Channel 27 was under continuous use throughout the weekend. “It’s made an immediate, positive impact,” he said.
Despite a little wind, the weather in New Jersey was picture-perfect and drove sun seekers to both beaches and boats. Sea Tow Central New Jersey’s General Manager Michele Lochead reported a very safe boating weekend with approximately 20 assistance jobs and many more dial a PRO® calls from members seeking local boating information. She also fielded more than 20 membership renewal calls from boaters already on the water for the weekend.
Inland, North Carolina’s lakes were subject to scattered thunderstorms but that didn’t keep Sea Tow captains at the dock. Multiple-area Sea Tow franchise owner Capt. Howie Kaplan reported that his captains responded to 40 percent more calls for help this year over last.
Despite questions that remain about how the West Coast of Florida will be impacted by the Gulf oil spill, Capt. Pete Louzao, general manager at Sea Tow Fort Myers, reported that beautiful weather kept Sea Tow captains busy around the clock Friday through Monday. Several captains were called out to assist boaters during the early morning hours on both Friday and Saturday.
*About Sea Tow’s Automated Radio Check System:
Sea Tow’s Automated Radio Check System is being offered in regions across the country thanks to Sea Tow’s ongoing partnership with MariTEL. Boaters are able to conduct 24/7 automated radio checks on VHF channels 24-28, depending on location. Contact your local Sea Tow office to find out if this free service is available where you boat.
The service is unique in that it does not require the response of other boaters or watch-standers in order to work, nor does it require special equipment. To conduct an automated radio check, turn to the appropriate VHF radio channel, key the mic and ask for a radio check, just as you would normally. The system will respond with an automated reply and replay your original radio transmission, letting you know exactly how well your radio is working.
About Sea Tow:
Sea Tow Services International, Inc. is the nation’s leading marine assistance provider. Founded in 1983 by Chairman & CEO Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer, Sea Tow now serves over 165,000 members in approximately 110 locations throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. For a full list of membership benefits, or to inquire about becoming a Sea Tow franchisee, please visit seatow.com/about/franchise.asp.