While the waters of an ocean and a lake are different in many ways, the high-level of on-water assistance that Sea Tow provides is what remains the same across the waters. This month, two franchisees, Sea Tow Shinnecock/Moriches and Sea Tow Raystown Lake, are celebrating milestone anniversaries for their combined decades of service.
If you happen to be boating around the Hampton Bays area of Long Island, N.Y. and call Sea Tow for assistance, there’s a good chance that owner Capt. Les Trafford will be headed your way with his four-legged first mate, Dixie. Sea Tow Shinnecock/Moriches is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month.
His current canine companion, a black Labrador/hound mix named Dixie, earns high praise from her master as she can sometimes change a stressful situation on the water with one deep bark.
Les knows a thing or two about sea legs and how to conquer them. He has a long background in the marine industry that has benefited his Sea Tow business.
“I’ve been around boats since I was a kid,” Les says. “Lobsters, eels, scallops, oysters, and shiners. If it can be netted, I’ve chased it. I made a good living on the water for quite a while. Then, just at the right time, the opportunity with Sea Tow presented itself. I jumped at it and haven’t look back since.”
In the same way, if you are on Raystown Lake in Entriken, Pa. and call, Capt. Mark Miller from Sea Tow Raystown Lake will be headed your way in a similar yellow Sea Tow boat. The location is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month.
At Raystown Lake, owner Josh Patt recalls how the lake and his Sea Tow business has grown over the last ten-years. Prior to Sea Tow, there was no commercial towing operation on the 8,300-acre lake, so once it was established and people saw the service, it grew rapidly.
“In the past, when folks got stranded on their only day off during the week, good Samaritans were the responders,” Josh recalled. “Once we got started, it wasn’t long before people realized Sea Tow was the answer when they were in need of on-water assistance.”
Their season is short but busy and the crew is not just known for their on-water assistance expertise. Sea Tow Raystown Lake provides vital support to local water safety partners, including the Army Corp of Engineers, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
“We do it because we love our lake community and want to help and make a difference,” said Capt. Mark Miller, who today manages the franchise’s operations. “Whether it’s on land or on the water, that’s our mantra here. And looking back on the last 10-years, we’ve enjoyed every minute.”