Retired Coast Guard chief takes helm as tow captain

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Capt. Shawn Brule, who retired from the U.S. Coast Guard last August after 22 years of service, is the new owner of TowBoatUS Cape Cod.

“I’ve always known I would own a boat towing company at some point in my life,” said Brule, who began working as a deckhand in a similar business when he was a teenager in Florida. “Just as I was getting ready to retire, I heard the previous owner wanted to sell his Cape Cod business. Everything was in alignment, so the deal came together.”

Brule, 42, who was a senior chief boatswain’s mate, spent his entire Coast Guard career in New England waters, serving for the last five years as head of the Aids to Navigation Team out of the Boston station. He also worked at the Woods Hole Coast Guard station for a few years.

“I know these waters well,” he said, referring to Buzzards Bay, the Cape Cod Canal and Cape Cod Bay, the area he serves. “This can be a tricky place,” he added, noting that current in the canal runs up to five knots, and a southwest wind often builds in the afternoon.

His boats, a 27-foot Boston Whaler with twin 350 horsepower inboard engines and a 27-foot Robolo with twin 250-horsepower outboards, are equipped with dewatering pumps, dive gear, lift bags, towing gear, battery jump packs and extra fuel.

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