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Owner takes over Vessel Assist location

Capt. Deb Fritz is the new owner of Vessel Assist in Friday Harbor, Wash., purchasing the port from Capt. Larry Hamilton.

Capt. Richard Rodriguez, a hired captain and author of the boating blog BitterEnd, and Fritz's husband, Capt. Andrew DiRienzo, round out the company's roster.

With her father working for Boeing and later retiring to Washington, Fritz has boated in the region since 1986. She also formerly raced stock cars in the Midwest and in 1994 she was the first woman to win a NASCAR-sanctioned event.

Later, while working in the ski industry, she earned a Coast Guard captain's license. She began to moonlight as a captain for Vessel Assist Friday Harbor in 2008.

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