New tow provider on busy waterway - Soundings Online

New tow provider on busy waterway

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Sea Tow Services International recently announced the opening of Sea Tow Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia’s scenic Blue Ridge Mountains region. The new franchise marks the first Sea Tow operation to operate on popular Smith Mountain Lake, which has 500 miles of shoreline and covers the counties of Bedford, Franklin and Pittsylvania in Southwest Central Virginia.

“There are approximately 23,000 boats registered in and around the counties surrounding the lake, and it also draws boaters from as far away as West Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland and New Jersey,” says Capt. Nancy Ellett, who co-owns Sea Tow Smith Mountain Lake with her husband, Capt. Rick Ellett. “The annual Fourth of July fireworks event brings anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 boaters out for this spectacular event.”

Capt. Rick Ellett has been living and boating on Smith Mountain Lake since it was created in the mid-1960s. He and Nancy, who earned their captain’s licenses together, have long enjoyed cruising, fishing, swimming and riding personal watercraft there. When Capt. Howard Kaplan and Capt. Brian Graves, co-owners of Sea Tow Lake Norman and Lake Wylie, approached Rick, a FedEx driver for 21 years, about partnering with them to bring Sea Tow to Smith Mountain Lake, the Elletts jumped at the chance.

“We feel this is a service needed by area boaters on Smith Mountain Lake and it will make their boating experience more enjoyable,” Rick Ellett said. The high volume of calls the franchise has responded to since opening its doors this spring more than bears him out.

Sea Tow Smith Mountain Lake operates a 21-foot Triumph equipped with a 200-hp Suzuki four-stroke outboard. The new franchise offers all the savings, services and security a Sea Tow membership provides, including access to the Sea Tow Advantage Network and on-water services such as towing, fuel drops and jump-starts. Sea Tow Smith Mountain Lake is also available to assist with vessel recovery, de-watering of sunk boats and oil and gas spill containment.

Presently headquartered in Franklin County, the franchise’s main telephone number is (540) 719-5555 and it monitors VHF channel 16. Boaters also can contact Sea Tow Smith Mountain Lake via Sea Tow International’s 24/7 Call Center at (800) 4SEATOW.

For a full list of membership benefits, or to inquire about becoming a Sea Tow Services International franchise owner, click here.

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