MOBILE, Ala., June 15, 2011 – There’s never a dull moment for Capt. Don Coleman. Up until this spring, Coleman was the owner of a successful local commercial diving and salvage operation, Blue Diving & Salvage, which got its start as a result of the Gulf oil spill. Now the US Navy veteran is growing his business and moving into the recreational side of boating with the opening of TowBoatUS Mobile, Alabama, an on-the-water towing company that helps boaters, sailors and anglers get safely home when they have trouble on the water. Since his opening a few weeks ago there’s been no shortage of customers.
“We’ve been getting a lot of requests for ungroundings – quite a few from sailboats that accidentally run out of the channel or who drag anchor at night,” said Capt. Coleman. The region’s notoriously thin waters are known for snagging boats, but he also said business has been brisk with “the standard fare”: jumpstarts, fuel drop-offs and dead engines that require a tow back to home dock or launch ramp. Coleman encourages captains passing through to contact him when looking for local navigation tips.
The new on-the-water towing service, much like an auto club for recreational boaters, offers an “Unlimited” on-the-water towing service plan for salt waters that cost just $149 a year
, which includes BoatUS or BoatUS Angler membership. A towing plan for commercial operators is also available. To see the new location on a map, go to BoatUS.com/mobileAL.
Originally hailing from northern Alabama, the 28-year old, USCG-licensed Coleman is also an avid sailor who runs the foredeck and spinnaker on a 30-foot Morgan in local regattas and the annual Dauphin Island race. He is also currently pursuing a degree at the University of South Alabama, and his partner in the venture is his father, Don Coleman Jr., who is also USCG-licensed.
Coleman has two response boats ready to go at a moment’s notice stationed at Grand View Marina on Dog River: a 26-foot custom center console with a distinctive red hull, white bow stripes and "TowBoatUS" lettering along its sides, and a 24-foot skiff. Both are fully rigged for marine towing and salvage work, including extra fuel, engine fluids, pumps, and battery "jump packs" to handle dead batteries. Dive services are also available. Boaters can call the company 24-hours a day at 251-370-0701, through the BoatUS toll-free Dispatch Service at 800-391-4869, or by hailing on VHF radio channel 16.
Without a towing plan, boaters face out-of-pocket costs that nationally average about $600 per incident, or $250 per hour. TowBoatUS Mobile is part of the country's largest boat towing program, BoatUS Towing Services, with over 600 towboats servicing hundreds of ports and waterways coast to coast.
The towing program is just one service offered by BoatUS - Boat Owners Association of The United States - the nation's leading advocate for recreational boaters providing its half-million members with government representation, consumer programs and money-saving services. For more information go to www.BoatUS.com/towing
or call 800-888-4869.