Sea Tow I in 1985, the first official Sea Tow vessel. Photo/Sea Tow

Sea Tow International is celebrating its 30-year anniversary in 2013. The company, founded by current CEO Joe Frohnhoefer, was launched in Southold, Long Island, in 1983 following changes in U.S. Coast Guard boater-response policy, which shifted the service’s emphasis to emergency situations and port security. This allowed private companies to offer non-emergency on-water assistance for a fee.

The first Sea Tow vessel—a 24’ Privateer—was run by Capt. Joe himself out of Southold, but Frohnhoefer quickly expanded the operation to nearby townships and eventually to Connecticut and the rest of the United States. Later, the company expanded to parts of the Caribbean, Europe and Australia.

Today, Sea Tow boasts some 200,000 members and over 600 professional captains and crew. The company has also stayed on the cutting edge of technology, investing in the latest equipment and introducing innovative products and services such as the automated VHF radio check, which allows boaters to check their VHF operation without relying on other boaters or tying up working frequencies.

Video: Sea Tow Celebrates 30 Years at Sea


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