Arkansas gets first TowBoatU.S. port

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Capt. Jason Harte, a third-generation commercial tug boat captain, opened the first TowBoatU.S. towing port in Arkansas.

TowBoatU.S. Beaver Lake is located at Prairie Creek Marina and provides tows back to a marina or launch ramp, fuel deliveries, battery jump-starts, or ungrounding services. Harte has stationed a white 22-foot response boat at the port.

"One of the most common reasons boaters request on-the-water assistance is when they run out of fuel," Harte said in a statement. "There are eight marinas on Beaver Lake, but they are spread out. People sometimes don't realize how far they will have to go before they can fill up again.”

Harte, his wife, Lisa, and their two sons recently relocated to Arkansas from Washington, where Harte spent the last 15 years working as tug operator and towboat captain on the Columbia River. A former volunteer firefighter and U.S. Navy veteran who served in two wars, Harte gained his experience towing recreational boats for Vessel Assist Portland.

Since relocating to Arkansas, the U.S. Coast Guard-licensed Harte has worked with local law enforcement, Coast Guard Auxiliary and Rangers of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. He also volunteers his company's services and was a safety boat at the Buddy Bass Tournament held last month.

Harte is a co-sponsoring a poker run on the lake Aug. 16, with proceeds going to a local dive team.

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