Capt. Roger Slade, a marine safety expert and former Coast Guardsman, opened a new Vessel Assist port on the Hood Canal in Washington state.
Slade has been helping Salish Sea boaters safely get home for more than 10 years with his Vessel Assist operations in Port Townsend and Port Hadlock, Wash.
Slade, who started working with Vessel Assist in 2001 and became owner of Vessel Assist Port Townsend/Port Hadlock in 2005, said in a statement that he opened the new port because “the north end of the Hood Canal was at the extreme southern end of our territory. When we got a call from someone on the canal, it would take us more than an hour and a half to get there."
This spring, Slade expanded his operation and opened Vessel Assist Hood Canal. The assist boat, a red aluminum 26-foot Munson with “Vessel Assist” on the hull, can travel at 35 knots. Slade expects to be able to reach boaters who call for assistance within about half an hour.
The boat will divide its time between Pleasant Bay Marina in Brinnon in the northern part of the canal and Hood Canal Marina at Union in the Big Bend area in the south.
Boaters can contact Vessel Assist Hood Canal by hailing on VHF channel 16, calling (360) 301-9764 or calling the BoatUS toll-free dispatch service at 800-391-4869.