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New TowBoatUS Service Opens in Joliet, Illinois

Capt. Gareth Stamm aboard his 25-foot TowBoatUS response vessel that be stationed in downtown Joliet near Brandon Road Lock and Dam.
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JOLIET, Ill., April 8, 2016 – Captain Gareth Stamm has been boating and fishing since he was a boy and knows it's in his blood. After two years of working on Lake Michigan as a captain for TowBoatUS Chicago, a 24-hour on water towing and assistance service for recreational boaters, Stamm, who hails from Joliet, decided to bring the same service to his home waters and has opened TowBoatUS Joliet.

“After I saw how simple, inexpensive and incredibly valuable the towing service is to BoatUS members, it was a natural progression for me to make that service available to Joliet and Illinois River boaters," said Stamm.

Much like a reliable auto club for boaters, TowBoatUS offers on water Unlimited Freshwater towing membership plans for boaters and anglers for just $72 a year that includes BoatUS membership. Without a towing plan, boaters who need assistance because they’ve run out of fuel, had a mechanical breakdown or run aground face costs that average over $700 per incident nationally.

Stamm, a wintertime snowplow operator and land surveyor, boated on the rivers and lakes with his parents as a child but traded that in as a young man for racing all-terrain vehicles in the woods and motocross, and was a member of Joliet Mud Turtles. But, when he married into a family of watersports enthusiasts, he rediscovered his “aqua gene,” a natural love of the water, and he sold off his dirt vehicles and bought a boat. Since then, “It’s been all boats, all the time,” said Stamm, who holds a U.S. Coast Guard captain’s license. “I love this work and I feel that I’m really good at it. Last year I did nearly 150 towing, salvage and wreck recovery operations on and around Lake Michigan.”

TowBoatUS Joliet will have two boats in service this year, a 25-foot welded aluminum Sea Ark workboat, with a 300-horsepower inboard that will be stationed in downtown Joliet near Brandon Road Lock and Dam, and a 22-foot StarCraft outboard-powered center console that he will keep on a trailer so it can be quickly deployed anywhere it’s needed. “My service area is not a body of water, it is a ribbon of water” that extends about 60 miles and includes parts of the Des Plaines, Kankakee and Illinois Rivers, Stamm said.

Both boats are painted bright red with the TowBoatUS name and logo emblazoned in white on the hulls. They are fully rigged for towing and salvage, with powerful pumps, battery jump packs, dive gear and extra fuel. Stamm and other licensed captains will run the vessels, always with an emphasis on safety. “We have an outstanding relationship with the local US Coast Guard station and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. They have us on speed dial and when anything bad happens on the water, they call us,” Stamm said.

BoatUS Unlimited towing memberships have no deductibles and they are good for any boat you own, rent or borrow and include a range of discounts with BoatUS membership and a subscription to BoatUS Magazine.

TowBoatUS Joliet can be hailed on VHF channel 16, reached by calling the local office directly at 708-890-9979 or by calling the BoatUS toll-free 24/7 Dispatch Center at 800-391-4869, or via smartphone with the free BoatUS Towing App.

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TowBoatUS Joliet opens: 24-hour on water towing service available to Joliet and Illinois River boaters http://goo.gl/vS9t94 #TowBoatUS

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Captain Gareth Stamm has been boating and fishing since he was a boy and knows it's in his blood. After two years of working on Lake Michigan as a captain for TowBoatUS Chicago, a 24-hour on water towing and assistance service for recreational boaters, Stamm, who hails from Joliet, decided to bring the same service to his home waters, and has opened TowBoatUS Joliet http://goo.gl/vS9t94

About TowBoatUS:

Celebrating 50 years in 2016, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is the nation's leading advocate, services and safety group for recreational boaters. We provide our over half-million members with a wide array of helpful services, including 24-hour on water towing that gets you safely home when your boat won’t, will bring you fuel if you run out, jumpstart your dead battery, or provide a gentle pull after you’ve run aground. The TowBoatUS towing fleet is North America’s largest network of towing ports with over 300 locations and over 600 towing assistance vessels, responding to over 70,000 requests for assistance each year. For more information go to BoatUS.com/towing.