What started out as a routine day for Capt. Dwayne Valentine of Sea Tow Horseshoe Beach in Florida became a day he’ll never forget.
The sun was beating down, not a cloud in the sky, and the seas were rolling past as Capt. Valentine was standing by for boaters who might need on-water assistance. Suddenly, his radio crackled to life and the Sea Tow dispatcher informed him that they received a call from a member’s wife whose husband’s boat had capsized while he had been out crabbing; the boater could not swim and did not have a life jacket.
Capt. Valentine jumped into action and quickly arrived on scene of the capsized boat. He safely pulled the boater onto his Sea Tow vessel and managed to get a line on the individual’s boat to tow it back to the dock. Being in the right place at the right time, combined with his heroism and emergency actions saved the boater’s life.
To honor Capt. Valentine, Sea Tow Services International presented him a Life Saving Award during Sea Tow’s 2020 annual meeting; an award presented annually to captains within the network for their performance above and beyond their normal duties.
An important lesson can be learned from this rescue: always wear a lifejacket when you’re out on the water. Things can happen fast on the water and often there isn’t time to go to a storage compartment and retrieve life jackets, just as it did for this man. Thankfully, Capt. Valentine was close by to help.