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New Owners Take the Helm at TowBoatUS Norris Lake

Co-owners Robert Dial and Durand Carmany take over 24-hour assistance service for recreational boaters

Photo Caption: (L to R) Capts. Robert Dial and Durand Carmany, new owners of TowBoatUS Norris Lake, aboard one of their 24-hour on-water assistance company's response vessels.
Download hi-res photo.

JACKSBORO, Tenn., April 25, 2018 – Nearly 15 years ago, Captains Robert Dial and Durand Carmany’s professional careers began on the water as rookie divers volunteering for a local rescue squad. For the last five years, they’ve helped with salvage and recovery work for a local owner of a 24-hour on-water towing and assistance company for recreational boaters. After laying the foundation for a strong partnership, they became the official owners of TowBoatUS Norris Lake earlier this year.

“We both grew up on the lake fishing as kids,” said Carmany. “We’ve been driving boats since we could see over the console, but assisting boaters has now become a professional career for us.” Much like an auto club for boaters, BoatUS offers on-water Unlimited Towing Memberships for freshwater boaters and anglers for just $72 per year. Boaters without BoatUS towing services face costs that average $750 per towing incident, with some paying into the thousands out of pocket.

When Carmany and Dial learned that the former owner of TowBoatUS Norris Lake wanted to sell the business, they jumped at the chance to buy it. They’ve seen firsthand the problems boaters can run into on the lake, especially with the shifting water levels.

“Boaters experience a variety of problems on this waterway as the seasons change,” said Dial. “Every winter there’s a 40-foot depth change in the lake, which presents problems come springtime with underwater hazards, shallow points, rocks and unseen objects. Even the most seasoned boaters will sometimes run aground or need assistance.”

Now with nearly 15 years of experience as professional rescue divers, Carmany and Dial have developed a close relationship with law enforcement agencies. Able to offer 24-hour response service, the new owners plan to further develop that working relationship to help get boaters home safely.

The on-water towing business wouldn’t run without the help of the captains’ wives, Katy Carmany and Deborah Dial, who assist with bookkeeping and public relations for the company. “This new opportunity is a win-win for us all,” said Durand Carmany. “We get to be on the water doing what we love, and more importantly, we’re helping people when they need assistance. Some day we hope this business can be turned over to our kids and they can continue it on to the next generation.”

TowBoatUS Norris Lake operates two 21-foot center-console response boats with single engine outboards ready 24/7 to service the lake. Both response vessels are kept near Indian River Marina and are centrally located for short response times. The boats are easily recognizable by their red hulls with TowBoatUS logos emblazoned in bright white letters on their sides, and are rigged and ready for towing, jump starts, fuel delivery and soft ungroundings. Separate from BoatUS on-water towing services, TowBoatUS Norris Lake also refloats sunken boats and provides salvage services,

Boaters can reach TowBoatUS Norris Lake by hailing on VHF channel 16, by calling the company directly at 423-494-4177, by phoning the BoatUS toll-free 24/7 Dispatch Center at 800-391-4869, or via smartphone using the new BoatUS App. More information can be found at, or call 800-888-4869.


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Former rescue divers take over 24-hour assistance service for recreational boaters, servicing Norris Lake in eastern Tennessee #TowBoatUS #BoatUS

About TowBoatUS:

Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is the nation's leading advocate, services and safety group for recreational boaters. We are the Boat Owners Auto Club and provide our more than 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 more than 300 locations and over 600 red towing assistance vessels, responding to over 70,000 requests for assistance each year. The BoatUS App makes it easy to summon water and road assistance 24/7, and can speed response times ( For more information, go to