With more 600 towboats spread across the country responding to more than 60,000 routine requests from boaters for on-the-water assistance, the law of averages dictates that the captains of these vessels are bound to run into life-threatening emergencies.
And, as with any heroic act, the captain is faced with the split-second decision to either step in - putting them in harm's way to try to save the individual - or to call for help.
BoatU.S. Towing Services honored 12 of its TowBoatU.S. and Vessel Assist captains with its annual BoatU.S. "Woody Pollack Lifesaving Award" at a ceremony that capped off the group's annual conference held recently in Long Beach, Calif.
"When the normal routine of dropping off gas or providing a tow back to the launch ramp is interrupted by a life-threatening may day call on the radio, our captains stepped in," said BoatU.S. vice president of towing services Jerry Cardarelli. "They are not in the rescue business, but without hesitation they went out to save fellow boaters. We are very proud of their heroic actions."