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with six persons aboard. After com-
munications with the stricken boat fell
ominously silent, Freestone desper-
ately searched and found the
swamped vessel, in which six passen-
gers, standing in the semi-submersed
boat, were precariously trying to bal-
ance to keep from overturning. Free-
stone took all aboard and safely re-
turned them to shore and salvaged
the vessel.
When a late afternoon thunderstorm
rolled in sheets of rain, 30 knots of
wind, lighting and thunder, Captain
Lee Eckler of TowBoatUS Tarpon
Springs, FL was stunned at what he
saw in the distance through the tem-
pest: three heads bobbing in the wa-
ter and an overturned kayak. Eckler
immediately took aboard three girls,
age 12 to 16, who only had one life
jacket amongst them, and then safely
deposited them and the kayak ashore
at their nearby home. It was likely the
luckiest break in their young lives.
One Friday last April, husband and
wife Captains Rodney and Mattie
Suggs of TowBoatUS Clear Lake, TX,
raced to the scene of a disabled sail-
boat that had reported several per-
sons in the water, but who were un-
able to swim back to the vessel as a
swift current dragged them farther
away. After finding one person and
safely bringing them aboard, the
Suggs' were shocked to learn that six
others were still missing. Searching,
the captains soon found the remaining
group - all of whom were severely
exhausted, and one who had ingested
a large amount of seawater. His
friends said the young man would
have soon drowned if it had not been
for the Sugg's fortunate actions.
On a Saturday afternoon Captain
Mike Dunn of TowBoatUS Homo-
sassa, FL, along with the local sheriff,
arrived to a chaotic scene in which a
37-foot powerboat had violently over-
turned, ejecting its nine passengers
into the water. While all had injuries,
one 18-year-old was blue, not breath-
ing, and had an exposed open wound
to the head. After loading the young
man aboard with the help of a Good
Samaritan nurse and the boy's
mother, Dunn gunned the engines
racing for shore while CPR was per-
formed. At high speed, he then
dodged dozens of boats along a nar-
row, constricted waterway, all the
while making
calls on the
VHF radio and arranging to rendez-
vous with EMTs. The teen was life-
flighted to the local hospital - and sur-
Photo: Capt. Kevin Freestone (L) of
TowBoatUS Big Pine Key, FL, with
US Coast Guard Chief of Search and
Rescue, Capt. David McBride (R).
Freestone was one of five Boat/US
towing captains honored for heroism
at the annual Boat/US Towing Ser-
vices Conference.
from Boat/US
January 17, 2012
About Boat/US:
Boat/US - Boat Owners Association of
The United States - is the nation's
leading advocate for recreational
boaters providing over half a million
members with government represen-
tation, programs and
money-saving ser-
vices. For member-
ship information visit
, or call:
Lost For 3 Years,
Boat Washes up in Spain
In August of 2008, Scott Douglas,
and his brother-in-law, Rich St. Pie
were fishing of the coast of Nantuc
Mass. Suddenly, they were thrown
their boat by a rogue wave. The bo
Queen Bee
, was a 26-foot center c
sole fishing boat made by Regulato
As they swam toward the shore,
Douglas watched the boat disappe
carried away by the swelling surf.
Douglas thought that this was the l
time he would see the
Queen Bee
But more than three years after Do
las and his brother-in-law were thro
off the boat, the U.S. Coast Guard
called to say the vessel had washe
up on the Spanish coast. It was rus
and covered in barnacles, but intac
Lt. Joe Klinker, a Coast Guard
spokesman, said that the boat som
how may have gotten across the c
tinental shelf and into the Gulf
Stream. He said it is rare but possi
for an object to drift across the Atla
tic. But for a boat, “I've never heard
anything like this.”
Regulator president Joan Maxwell
said in an e-mail to
Soundings Tra
. “To have this boat show up
three and a half years [later], all the
way across the Atlantic, is nothing
short of amazing. This is a testame
to the great hull design by Lou
Codega and our dedicated manufa
turing team.”
: Soundings Trade Only Tod
January 26, 2012