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    CG towing policy-gctid355629

    On another website (name not important), there was a post on how someone was P/O/ed because their boat broke down and the CG called Sea Tow and was charged. He felt that being a taxpayer, the CG should have towed him gratus.

    The current policy (as I remeber it) is: The CG will not do courtesy tows. They will 'assist" if:

    1. There is danger to personnel. Examle: A disabled vessel and a bad storm approaching.

    2. If the disabled vessel is presenting a hazzard; Example: in a narrow channel, blocking it

    3. There is a serious medical problem.

    4. A real mayday: boat sinking, on fire, man overboard, etc

    5. Only if no other commercial or good samaratin help is available. Example: an area where sea Tow or another assiting agency is available, or a passerby cannot be found to assist. (We in the auxilairy used this one when there was no sea tow on the St. John's river.)

    Otherwise, they will put out a MARB (Marine assistance Radio Broadcast) on channel 16 and se if someone can assist, commercial or not. If no takers within an hour, they will assist.

    How did this come about? Back in the early 90s, the CG (and auxiliary) towed disableds --no charge_- whenever it was necessary, for "boating safety". Sea tow comes on scene, providing this "service" for money. Either selling memberships and/or charging per case. Then, they sued the CG and federal gov't for the gov't "competing with private enterprize", and won. This brought out the policy which I attempted to outline above. AT that point, the axuiliary lost 1/3 of their membership. Why volunteer and train, when you must "bird dog" for sea tow, pro bono?

    So, the next time you hear someone complaining on how the gov't won't help you, read the above to them.

    Note: I am not ranting. I retired from the Auxiliary after 26 years because I got tired of the politics.

    Alll, and all, the auxiaiary does a very good job of protecting the boaters from themselves.

    I will help another boater in trouble, but the circumstances gotta feel right. I am trained and equipped.
    Captharv 2001 2452
    "When the draft of your boat exceeds the depth of water, you are aground"

    #2
    I'm OK with that. Why use tax dollars when there are commercial towing services available. The Coast Guard has more important things to do.

    (they will keep boats out of harms way though)
    Custom CNC Design And Dash Panels

    iBoatNW

    1980 CHB Europa 42 Trawler- "Honey Badger"

    Comment


      #3
      I don't see any issue with that policy.

      I don't think that the USCG should be performing non Life Health Safety tows when there is a commercial service available.

      We don't expect the state troopers to tow us for free if our car breaks down, and we should not expect the USCG to do it either.

      KEVIN SANDERS
      4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA
      www.transferswitch4less.com

      where are we right now?

      https://maps.findmespot.com/s/36S4

      Comment


        #4
        It also allows them to continue their primary mission and be available to respond to emergencies. Once they have you in tow... it would be tough to set you adrift if a 'real' emergency came up. Leave the towing to the professionals.
        Custom CNC Design And Dash Panels

        iBoatNW

        1980 CHB Europa 42 Trawler- "Honey Badger"

        Comment


          #5
          We always assumed that other boat skippers would help in the time of need/distress. When it happened to me, that was not the case.

          http://www.iboatnw.com/forum/showthr...hlight=patrick

          Comment


            #6
            Is the highway patrol expected to tow you if you break down on the interstate?

            Comment


              #7
              Some years ago the commercial guys would go out with "X" days of fuel. Well 1/2 X out and 1/2 X back equals Y fish. They figured they could stay out fishing for the full "X" days and get 2Y fish and then call for a tow from the CG. This worked for awhile until the CG caught on.:hypnotysed:

              Vic

              Ft Myers
              Vic Stewart SN
              Past Commander
              Cape Fear Power Squadron
              Ft Myers Power Squadron
              1998 2859 7.4 L/B2
              Raw water cooled

              Comment


                #8
                The coast guard in Alaska, Kodiak and Anchorage area, requires that in order to be towed by them that your boat or life be imperial, otherwise they will call for an assistance tow, then a commercial tow, if you refuse and no inperial issue, then you will sit there and the coast guard will monitor the situation. I would tow to a safe location, but I will not tow someone in while I am on a 3-4 day fishing trip, nor will I tow a boat 20-40 miles back to the harbor, usually they say thankyou, and no $ for fuel, even though they can collect from the ins. co.

                This happens a lot out of Seward, AK. In this area, the coast guard only is required to tow you to a safe harbor, not to your port, you could end up 40 miles from your port, and no road to the mainland.

                We have a lot of small boats that should not be where they call for help from.
                Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

                Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
                Twin 350 GM power
                Located in Seward, AK
                Retired marine surveyor

                Comment


                  #9
                  this is one decision by our government that I agree with whole heartedly

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I am old enough to remember when the CG would and did tow. I do not have a problem with them now only towing in an emergency situation. With Tow Boat US and Seatow among other companies we are, at least here in my area, well covered in an emergency.
                    Rick Grew

                    1981 Carver 3007 Aft Cabin

                    2004 Past Commodore
                    West River Yacht & Cruising Club
                    www.wrycc.com

                    Comment


                      #11
                      boatworkfl wrote:
                      The coast guard in Alaska, Kodiak and Anchorage area, requires that in order to be towed by them that your boat or life be imperial, otherwise they will call for an assistance tow, then a commercial tow, if you refuse and no inperial issue, then you will sit there and the coast guard will monitor the situation. I would tow to a safe location, but I will not tow someone in while I am on a 3-4 day fishing trip, nor will I tow a boat 20-40 miles back to the harbor, usually they say thankyou, and no $ for fuel, even though they can collect from the ins. co.

                      This happens a lot out of Seward, AK. In this area, the coast guard only is required to tow you to a safe harbor, not to your port, you could end up 40 miles from your port, and no road to the mainland.

                      We have a lot of small boats that should not be where they call for help from.
                      I would agree completely. Given the distances we boat travel by boat in Alaska, I think it would be asking too much for someone to tow you back to port.

                      I was towed in once (in our 2452). We were about 30 miles out. We called the Coast Guard and asked them to send a commercial tow company out of Whittier. We told them we were safe, had food, water, even a generator

                      It took several hours to tow us back, and the bill was $750.

                      KEVIN SANDERS
                      4788 LISAS WAY - SEWARD ALASKA
                      www.transferswitch4less.com

                      where are we right now?

                      https://maps.findmespot.com/s/36S4

                      Comment


                        #12
                        When we had an active uscg auxilary in Seward, there were several boats in the program, the USCG paid for their fuel and any damage expenses, you could get them to tow; now they have a RIB maned by the uscg, but mostly they check safety issues out on the water, they do chase some boats back to the harbor for lack of safety equipment such as life jackets.

                        There are some charter boats that will come back out and tow after dropping off passengers, for a fee though, most stuck boats are out about 8-24 miles from port fishing salmon.

                        lots of time they run out of fuel, or just poor maint. usually it is a 24' or smaller boat.
                        Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

                        Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
                        Twin 350 GM power
                        Located in Seward, AK
                        Retired marine surveyor

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The problem with towing is insurance. Boaters have been sued by people they have towed (falling hitting a wake, boat hitting a dock etc). I pay good money to carry tow insurance and I will always assist someone in danger but other wise I will stand by and call for a tow boat. It cost good money to boat for maint insurance and tow coverage just like a vehicle. I could see my truck breaking down and standing on the side of the road with rope and sign NEED TOW.

                          Rock

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Patrick53 wrote:
                            We always assumed that other boat skippers would help in the time of need/distress. When it happened to me, that was not the case.

                            http://www.iboatnw.com/forum/showthr...hlight=patrick
                            I read thru the post and have some comments. Remember, this is coming from someone who spent a lot (too much?) time "assisting" others and doing many tows (250+ over 20 years).

                            There is no "assistance" REQUIRED by NAVRULES unless the vessel has a "mayday" or "is in danger of being lost". I (WE) am not compelled by law to assist you if you are out of gas, motor broke down, or a soft grounding where the personnel are NOT in immediate denger. Define mayday as "immediate danger to life" Examples: sinking, fire, man overboard, severe medical emergency, etc.

                            Now real world:

                            According to CG stats, about 90% of the boaters on the water have not had ANY formal education/training in boating. This translates into being unable to display or recognize proper signals of distress (of which yor fire defintely qualified as).

                            Back when we ( the auxilairy) could tow, the average patrol got 2 tows that day.About 80% of then did not display proper distress signals.

                            Fishing, or other commercial boats. They make their living fishing or whatever. They are very reluctant to help a pleasure boater, and only if they have to.

                            Pleasure fishermen, hunters, water skiiers, and such. Their boat is the means to recreate, now the way. As a rule, hunters and fishermen comprize the majority of the boating mishaps, thru lack of knowledge, or lack of caring. Who has the least mishaps? Believe it or not, sailboats. Weather makes the boat go, there fore thay are tuned to the weather and boat better than most.

                            We leaned to recognize very suttle signs of distress: man standing in open ngine hatch, with crescent wrench in hand, scratching head; a guy standing in a pontoon boat along the shore, with the classic thumbs up hitchhiking sign, anchored boat 10 miles offshore in an area where there is no structure, with 4 rods in water, waving at us. he was disabled, and asked me what CB channel I heard him on? i said I don't have a CB.

                            Most of them waved as if they were sayng Hi, there.... Most otehr boaters waved back and went on.

                            Next subject: Recreational towing. Its not as easy as you thing. Requires training, practice, and above all, proper rigging. When a tow line is stressed, and breaks (or tears out a cleat) its coming back at your head. CG helmsmen have been killed by a cleat-missle. Look at the CGs 41 UTB, it has a steel chain link fence installed behind the helmsman.

                            Good samaratin law only protects you as " operating as an ordinary person, within the scope of your training (and equipment)." Got any certifiable training you can produce in court? made my point yet?

                            I am not saying help a buddy out, but get some training, rig proper towing ensamble, every one wears a life jacket, and have the other boat NOT help you, and stay seated toward the boats stern. And as said in a popular song "Know when to fold" and call for help.

                            I have ruined quite a few offshore fishing trips because some bozo did not maintain his engine or did not buy enough fuel.

                            It got old in a hurry.

                            I will help you if you ask me, and , only if, the situation fells right. At least, I will call sea Tow (or whomever) and maybe stay there until they arrive. Get nasty to me, I will just plain leave you there.

                            Did not mean to get off on a rant, or hijack my own thread, but assisting is dangerous at best.
                            Captharv 2001 2452
                            "When the draft of your boat exceeds the depth of water, you are aground"

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Rock wrote:
                              The problem with towing is insurance. Boaters have been sued by people they have towed (falling hitting a wake, boat hitting a dock etc). I pay good money to carry tow insurance and I will always assist someone in danger but other wise I will stand by and call for a tow boat. It cost good money to boat for maint insurance and tow coverage just like a vehicle. I could see my truck breaking down and standing on the side of the road with rope and sign NEED TOW.

                              Rock
                              Most boaters do not understand their towing coverage.
                              Pat says: DO-IT-RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!

                              Bayliner 3870 "ALASKA33)
                              Twin 350 GM power
                              Located in Seward, AK
                              Retired marine surveyor

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