Southold-based Sea Tow International, the leading provider of non-emergency on-water assistance, announced the locations of 42 Sea Tow Life Jacket Loaner Stands at a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday. The Sea Tow Foundation's Life Jacket Loaner Station program has been in existence nationwide since 2009 but had not had a visible presence on Long Island until earlier this year, when they received a $20,000 donation from Clare Rose, Inc., of Yaphank, N.Y., one of the nation's largest beverage distributors, and Anheuser-Busch, of St. Louis. Their donation enabled the Sea Tow Foundation to make adult-sized life jackets available island-wide at 42 locations including: Sea Tow locations; marinas; boat ramps; local police and fire stations; and yacht clubs and more. Boaters may borrow life jackets to replace missing or damaged personal flotation devices (PFDs), or use for extra guests on board their boats.
"We are honored to have local Sea Tow Captain and franchise owner, Les Trafford and Shinnecock Inlet accident survivor, Scott Finne, on hand with us as we symbolically cut the ribbon on one of our 42 new Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Stands today," said Sea Tow International founder and CEO, Captain Joe Frohnhoefer. "And we again thank Clare Rose and Anheuser-Busch Inc. for helping make today possible. We all want to do what we can to help reduce preventable accidents and have a safer 2013 season and promoting PFD use is part of that."
This donation is especially meaningful as Sea Tow International celebrates its 30th anniversary throughout 2013. Safety has always been Sea Tow's number one priority. Sea Tow offers innovative, free boating safety and information services to the public, including the Sea Tow app for smartphones, and Sea Tow's Automated Radio Check Service, in addition to the nonprofit Sea Tow Foundation's Life Jacket Loaner Station Program.
The on-water assistance fleet of choice for boaters since Sept. 3, 1983, Sea Tow International was founded due to the U.S. Coast Guard's privatization of non-emergency calls, creating a new industry. This privatization was mandated and put into effect by Public Law 97-322. Sea Tow International, which began, and is still headquartered, in Southold, has grown into a thriving network of nearly 100 franchise locations across the United States, with additional operations in Europe and the Caribbean.
This network consists of a dedicated team of more than 700 Captains, plus crew and support staff that stand by 24/7, to serve Sea Tow members and other boaters should they ever need help on the water.
"We at Clare Rose pride ourselves with not just being a local business – but being an integral part of our Long Island community," said Sean Rose, President and CEO of Clare Rose. "When Sea Tow International came to us, we realized the similarities in our company cultures both of which are founded on strong family roots and continued community involvement. We just knew we had to support them and the Sea Tow Foundation. The potential impact of the Life Jacket Loaner Station Program on Long Island is substantial – and we are a company of avid recreational boaters."
For more information visit: www.seatow.com and www.boatingsafety.com.