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Sea Tow sees jump in calls for assistance

Sea Tow Services International reported a 19 percent increase in assistance calls during the Fourth of July holiday weekend compared to the same period in 2009.

The increase in activity, seen for the second year in a row, was due largely to excessive heat in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions, which sent boaters to the water.

Sea Tow also reported a 9 percent increase in membership sales in the week leading up to the Fourth of July.

"With extraordinarily hot weather along much of the Eastern Seaboard, boaters certainly seemed eager to seek refuge on the water," founder and CEO Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer said in a statement. "This kept our franchisees very busy over the four-day weekend. Thankfully, this weekend appears to have been a relatively safe one, despite the increase in on-water traffic."

More than 1,000 service calls were reported by 77 percent of Sea Tow's 98 franchise locations nationwide, which were surveyed for the annual Fourth of July report.

The locations responded to:

  • 789 tows
  • 95 ungroundings
  • 76 fuel-drop requests
  • 91 jump starts
  • 45 salvages
  • 5 maydays
  • 2 Coast Guard MARBs (marine assistance request broadcast)

Sea Tow Freeport (N.Y.), Sea Tow Atlantic City (N.J.), Sea Tow Charleston (S.C.), Sea Tow Southern Connecticut and Sea Tow Great South Bay (N.Y.) reported the highest activity in the network.

Sea Tow captains also responded to at least nine accidents.

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