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TowBoatUS Norris Lake, TN Opens: Boaters Have a Helping Hand to Call

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Photo Caption: (L to R) Linda, son Tyler, daughter Elisa and Mark Proffitt of the new TowBoatUS Norris Lake, Tennessee, docked at Sequoyah Marina.
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 NORRIS LAKE, Tenn. May 24, 2011 – Boaters, sailors and anglers who have trouble on Norris Lake with dead batteries, engine difficulties or run out of gas now have a helping hand to call 24 hours a day with the opening of TowBoatUS Norris Lake, Tennessee. The new on-the-water towing service, much like an auto club for boaters, offers an “Unlimited” on-the-water towing service plan for freshwaters that cost just $58 a year, which includes BoatUS or BoatUS Angler membership. To see the new location on a map, go to

The location is owned by Mark Proffitt, who is also owner of the five-year-old, family-run business, Marine Contractors, a full-service boat maintenance, repair and over-the-road boat transport business located on Pinecrest Road in Jacksboro. His wife Linda, son Tyler, and daughter Elisa, are all part of the company.

Proffitt has been boating on Lake Norris since he was 10 years old, when his dad gave him a small runabout. “I probably know the lake as well as anyone else” Proffitt says unassumingly of his over three decades spent on the lake. He also says it’s its harder these days to trust your luck to the passing of a Good Samaritan or calling a friend to get you home. “For $58 a year, we’ll be there to get you and your family safely home at any hour, day or night,” said Proffitt. Without a towing plan, boaters face out-of-pocket costs that nationally average about $600 per incident, or $250 per hour.

With a degree in engineering from Pellissippi State, one of his former jobs includes working in research and development at Mercury Marine racing engines, which led to a career as a ChampBoat-2 class racer. These small outboard-powered race boats are just 17 feet long, weigh just 1,150 pounds and are powered by stock engines that give them top speeds of around 120 mph, leading to incredible G-forces as they race around oval in-shore tracks.

Proffitt has a 20-foot center console stationed at Sequoyah Marina ready to go at a moment’s notice. It can be identified by its distinctive red hull, white bow stripes and "TowBoatUS" lettering along its sides, and is fully rigged for marine towing and salvage work, including extra fuel, engine fluids, pumps, dive gear and battery "jump packs" to handle dead batteries. Dive services are also available. Boaters can call the company 24-hours a day at 865-426-9839, through the BoatUS toll-free Dispatch Service at 800-391-4869, or by hailing on VHF radio channel 16.

TowBoatUS Norris Lake 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. Other TowBoatUS locations in Tennessee include Nickajack, Chickamauga, Watts Bar, Percy Priest, and Pickwick Lakes as well as one in New Johnsonville. 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 or call 800-888-4869.