If you were a Captain for marine towing services such as BoatUS or Sea Tow International, you likely had a busy weekend over the holiday. Sea Tow’s National dispatch center reported record high numbers of calls for assistance from stranded boaters over the the five day period for July 3-7, up 12% from 2012. “This July 4th holiday weekend was the busiest we’ve seen since I founded Sea Tow back in 1983,” said Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer, Sea Tow Founder and CEO.

Frohnhoefer praised his staff claiming “Across the country, our U.S. Coast Guard-licensed Sea Tow Captains and crew demonstrated their high level of professionalism and skill by responding quickly when needed and helping Sea Tow members and other boaters stay safe on the water. Our yellow Sea Tow boats helped make the 4th of July truly red, white and blue.”

Most of the calls for assistance were for getting a tow in after engine or drive failures. Sea Tow believes the extended 4th weekend was responsible for more boats on the water than in previous years. A number of unprepared boaters called for on-the-water fuel deliveries after running the tanks dry. Jump starts and un-groundings came in at 3rd and 4th place respectively.

One thing thats changed in recent years in the ability to make calls for assistance from cell phones as coverage now extends to many boating areas. Sea Tow itself has a unique app for iPhone and Android users that will call for help with the single swipe of a finger and relay your GPS coordinates to Sea Tow’s Dispatch Center. The days of waving down a passing boat for assistance may be numbered.