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Boat in Need of A Tow


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While fishing out of Muskegon today, there was a boat that came across the radio that had broke down in 90FOW in front of the pier and needed a tow in. A boat by the name of Charlies Angel(Owners name is Tyler) was fishing in 120FOW answered the radio and offered assistance.

After pulling their lines, and motoring to 90FOW in front of the piers where the distressed boat was suppose to be, they could not locate the boat. Tyler called on the radio for the distressed boat and asked to confirm their location.

The distressed boat answered and said they had managed to start their engine and were inside the channel on the way in. :confused:

You would have thought they might have called Charlies Angel on the radio to tell them they got it started and were on their way in. :angry2:

I met Tyler for the first time at my GLFTT event on Saturday. I only spoke with him a tiny bit at the event. The little bit I talked with him, I thought he was a nice guy. This incendent on the lake today further backed my thoughts.

BTW.....Tyler and his crew won the first GLFTT event!

Hats off to Charlies Angel(Tyler) and a BIG thumbs up :thumb: for pulling their lines and offering assistance.

Nice job Tyler!

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All I can say is tow insurance,like from Boat-US.

Its a good thing to write the check for it and not use it ALL year.

Its inexpensive and with a radio and cell phone the tow service is on the way.

Counting on other boaters to tow ya is not being prepared.

Thats My .02

However I am glad to here of boaters keeping their ears open for boats in trouble.Thanks.


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I for one would like to say "Thank You" for trying to help someone in need of assistance.

I have been in the same situation, a time or two, where I have needed help. And someone like you has come to my aid.

I do the same thing, and try to "lend a helping hand"

Just some folk's out there that think just because they have remedied the problem, "it's OK" to just leave. The forget all about the person that has dropped everything to come to there aid.

Again, Thank You for looking out for someone in need.

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Good Job Tyler!:D The last time I was in need of help I was stuck in bird season. It was a long way out and thank god the bear hunters were in the woods. One of them gave me a tug and I offered him some money for his troubles. His response was no trouble at all I may need the same thing in the future. I will always remember that great gesture! Pay it forward as they say!

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I have been towed in twice and have towed in a couple boats as well.

However I am very reluctant to tow anybody in any longer.

OK before anyone blows a head gasket, hear me out. I will assist anyone that needs help and do whatever is needed to help that particular situation.

For example last summer on a beautiful flat calm day we were headed in and came across a less than 20 foot bass boat in about 50 FOW north of Ludington a couple miles. They had about 6 people on the boat and all had lifejackets. They did have a cell phone but not a radio and wanted a tow. I called the Coast Guard and told them our exact location and informed them we did not have the proper equipment to bring this boat in. They only had a nylon ski rope. The Coast Guard sent out a message to see if any one else wanted the help them and they offered to send out a towing service which the boat refused. They came out and got the boat after about an hour. We stayed on the location until the Coast Guard arrived.

You may ask why we didn’t tow them in, and my only answer in the real fear of LITIGATION. This has happened. If a tow rope were to break and someone was injured or killed. I would be responsible. If the boat sank while towing in. I would be responsible. Any number of things can and will get you dragged into court and you can lose everything. REMEMBER the first thing Tow-Boats is going to give you after they scan your credit card is a disclaimer to sign.

Again, if this boat or it's crew were in any danger we would have taken them on board.

I’m interested to hear others’ opinions’ on this topic.

Another thing to mention along those same lines. The last boat I sold, I didn’t included ANY Safety equipment with the boat. The owner was informed of this and was told to purchase his own. The reason? This too has also been brought into court and the seller was held responsible for the loss of life from the safety equipment he sold with the boat.

Tyler did try to do a good deed and he should be commended for it. I just don't want to see anybody get burned trying to do the right thing.

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I will bite. I guess everyone needs to respond however they choose. I guess I never have made my choices with litigation as a factor in my decision to respond. Obviously if you don't have the right equipment ie tow rope for the tow you shouldn't make matters worse by attempting one. The flip side of doing nothing is you have to sleep at night with your decsion and no litigation will sway my decision to respond if someone needs help. I think you did the right thing by staying with the stranded party until help arrived. In the end what matters is everyone made it home safe and we all can feel good about that:D

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Dan, I didn't know there was a tow service in Ludington, do you have a phone number so I can put in my cell phone? I would never sue anyone for helping me so don't be afraid to help me out of Ludville if we are in nearby waters. You can always count on a tow from me if you need one;)

I've towed in a 3 boats and been towed in once in mine. The boat that towed me in at Pentwater wouldn't take any money for gas so I threw them a bag with a couple of my hottest spin doctors and flies from that day of fishing. I appreciated it! I'm not overly worried about getting sued, I know it could happen but I'd still help. Now that you mention this, I might ask the folks if they won't sue me in the event of a problem and that they accept liablilities for me towing them in. I'd at least get a verbal from them, with my crew as witnesses.

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Vidalidle mentioned that at least we stayed with the stranded party. I'm not sure of the exact rules on this, but I think we were not only obligated to stay, we were also obligated to stop and assist the stranded vessel in the first place. Several boats had already gone by this boat and ignored them.

EdB If it were you, or 30 other regular Ludington boats that I know, we would have brought you or them in. I know that may seem odd to pick and choose, but someone I know is different than someone I don’t know.

On a side note. Back in the late eighties one of my uncles and his partner from the Flint Police Department rescued two children, and an adult woman. Unfortunately the husband drown in a Genesee County Lake. He and his partner were both sued, but won. I would have done the same thing in that situation because they did the right thing.

Also I'm not sure if Ludington has regular tow service, But the Coast Guard was willing to call one for these people. I suspect that Abrahamson may be the ones who they would have called. Abrahamsons have removed the boats that end up on the breakwall each year.

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I kinda tend to agree with Dan on this one as a former Coast Guard member towing a boat without the proper gear is not the way to go. If you stop to render aid or assistance you cannot leave while they are still in distress. I would not hesitate to do all I can to help another boater out but stuff happens and the minute you take a boat in tow it becomes part of your vessel and your liability for anything that can happen. If you read all the fine print on most marine Insurance policies you will find once you tow another boat neither is covered by your insurance so you are really sticking your butt in the wind. I got towed by the Sherifs boat last year in Manistee and while I was very happy to get the tow was supprised at the way they landed my boat at the dock. Thankfully nothing went wrong but there are proper ways to tow and control a disabled vessel and to dock one and since my boat was much larger than theirs I expected to switch to a hip tow when we reached the dock but instead they dropped a man off and he hand lined me in against the current. The guy was darn strong to pull in a heavy boat against the river current I doubt I could have done it.

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