CHARLOTTE, NC, July 15, 2014 – For years, boaters and anglers stuck with a dead battery, dead engine or empty fuel tank out on Mountain Island Lake had to hope that someone would get them back to the boat launch or dock. That’s because the lake had no around-the-clock on water boat towing service. Local law enforcement only patrolled the lake on weekends and provided tows, which was also likely not the best use of the officer’s time or taxpayer dollars. That has all changed with the opening of TowBoatUS Mountain Island Lake, a 24-hour on water towing and assistance service for routine breakdowns. The new location is the third for Capt. Derek DeBord and his wife, Cheryl, who are owners of nearby TowBoatUS Lake Wylie and TowBoatUS Lake Norman.
“It can be hard finding someone to drop what they're doing to come get you at any time of the day or night,” said Derek, who is also a Catawba County reserve deputy sheriff. “Before we opened up, boaters just didn’t have that much help available to run some fuel out to them, pull them off a shoal or bring them safely back to the ramp. Now, we’re here 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at a very affordable price if you purchase an annual on water towing plan from TowBoatUS.”
Much like an auto club for boaters, TowBoatUS offers on the water towing plans for freshwater boaters and anglers for just $67 a year that includes BoatUS or BoatUS Angler membership. Without a towing plan, boaters face costs that average $600 per incident nationally.
Said Derek, “There are a lot of folks who trailer between Norman and Wylie. With Mountain Island Lake in the middle, it was a natural for us to open here. We’ve got the only towing service on Lake Norman that can get under all bridges providing 100% coverage of that lake, and we also have a response boat ready to go at moment’s notice on a trailer for backup on any of the three lakes. We’ve really got you covered, day or night.” All BoatUS towing plans provide for nationwide assistance with any boat owned, rented/chartered (bareboat), or borrowed.
The DeBords opened TowBoatUS Lake Norman in 2012, and recently purchased TowBoatUS Lake Wylie. Derek, who is US Coast Guard licensed, goes on calls himself as much as he can, along with first mate Cheryl, who is also the company’s accountant. Ten additional licensed captains work for the company. The DeBord’s TowBoatUS operations have a total of seven towboats, and have stationed a 20-foot center console response boat on Mountain Island Lake. It’s painted a distinctive red with “TowBoatUS” on the hull, and it is fully rigged for towing and salvage, with powerful pumps, battery jump packs, dive gear and extra fuel.
Boaters can contact TowBoatUS Mountain Island Lake by hailing on VHF channel 16, calling the company directly at 704-200-1930 or calling the BoatUS toll-free 24/7 Dispatch Service at 800-391-4869. Assistance can also be summoned via smartphone with the free BoatUS Towing App, and TowBoatUS is also the only on water towing service that offers satellite messaging services with the SPOT and inReach satellite communications services. To see the TowBoatUS Mountain Island Lake’s location on a map, go to BoatUS.com/mountainislandlake.
Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is the nation's leading advocate for recreational boaters providing over half a million members with a wide array of consumer services, including on water towing assistance provided by TowBoatUS and Vessel Assist. Combined, these two towing fleets offer boaters, anglers and sailors the world’s largest network of towing ports with over 300 locations and over 600 towing assistance vessels — three times larger than the closest competitor. For more information go to www.BoatUS.com/towing or call 800-888-4869.