YANKEETOWN, Fla. November 8, 2010 – Capt. Larry Tieman, owner and operator of seven on-the-water recreational boat towing locations on Florida’s central Gulf Coast, has opened an eighth location — TowBoatUS Yankeetown, Florida. Located at Yankeetown Marina, the new location joins Tieman’s other TowBoatUS locations in St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay, Clearwater, Tarpon Springs, Hudson, Homosassa River and Crystal River. Much like an auto club for boaters, an annual on-the-water towing plan with TowBoatUS gives boaters and anglers a reliable way to call for assistance when their boats break down on the water, run out of gas, or run aground.
US Coast Guard-licensed Capt. Matt Fleming, a Yankeetown native for over three decades, is the new location’s full-time captain. Fleming was formerly a captain at TowBoatUS Crystal River, and has an extensive background in recreational boating. He’s a former small-boat captain with the US Coast Guard and came to Yankeetown when he was stationed at the local rescue station. Fleming also spent 25 years with the Florida Marine Patrol, a forerunner to today’s Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and is a local fishing guide.
Fleming says the new TowBoatUS Yankeetown location is in a good spot to assist boaters and anglers, many of whom trailer their boats over the highway from the central part of the state to reach the Gulf’s rich fishing grounds. However, the region’s waters have many hazardous oyster bars and rocky bottoms, often snagging boaters who don’t have local knowledge. “Over the years, I’ve sheared off my fair share of lower drives,” says Fleming, referring to the damage that occurs when a boat runs aground. “I know how it feels — it can happen to anyone. And when it does, we’ll get you home quickly and safely.”
Recreational boaters and anglers can call the on-the-water towing company 24-hours a day at 352-302-4573, through the BoatUS toll-free Dispatch Service at 800-391-4869, or by hailing on VHF radio channel 16. Stationed at TowBoatUS Yankeetown and ready to go at a moment’s notice is a 23-foot response vessel fully rigged for marine towing and salvage work, including extra fuel, engine fluids, pumps, and battery "jump packs" to handle dead batteries. The boat can be identified by its distinctive red hull, white bow stripes and "TowBoatU.S." lettering along its sides.
Like an auto club, BoatUS offers "Unlimited" on-the-water towing plans for Florida boaters and anglers for just $149 a year which includes BoatUS membership. Without a towing plan, boaters face costs that nationally average about $600 per incident.
TowBoatUS Yankeetown 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.