Tow operators brace for busy holiday weekend

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BoatUS says the Independence Day weekend is expected to bring record numbers of boaters to the water.

The 24-hour BoatUS on-the-water dispatch centers and TowBoatUS and Vessel Assist towing fleets are expected to receive nearly 3,000 requests for assistance from boaters during the holiday weekend, with a big spike likely to occur each evening.

Although this number is down from previous years because of the weak economy, it still means a lot of boaters will need jump-starts, tows or help with groundings, the association said.

“For many, this will be the only time of year they operate their boat in the dark,” Chris Edmonston, president of the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water, said in a statement. “As you’re about to pull the hook to leave after the fireworks show ends, boaters should understand that the risk of having an accident significantly increases after the sun goes down.”