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Didn't Tow Stranded Boat

Old 06-21-2020, 06:46 PM
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Default Didn't Tow Stranded Boat

Curious about people's opinions on proper etiquette in the following situation..

Was out fishing last night outer Boston harbor and moving to a new spot, it was around 8pm, so just starting to lose daylight. Anyone that's boated Boston Harbor knows that it is a very treacherous area with tons of rocks, even a couple of miles out.

Saw these guys in a small walk-around flagging me down and pulled up, they couldn't get their motor to start. Were about 2 miles offshore in an area that's between a long string of rocks and a main shipping lane. These guys didnt have a VHF, a cell phone that was charged or literally even an anchor, so they couldn't avoid drifting. Spoke decent but not great English. Anyway, they asked me to tow them in. But based on their obviously poor judgment, I just didn't trust them (seemed like sketchy guys overall) but certainly wasn't gonna leave them there. Ended up calling Seatow for them and was about to drive off once I confirmed they were en route, but seeing as there was about 15 minutes of light left and Seatow said they'd be there in an hour, I didn't want them to just keep drifting towards a bad spot and also wanted to be sure I could call seatow back if they couldn't find them.. these guys had literally no way to communicate with the outside world. Hadn't seen a boat go by in a really long time either.

So I ended up just circling around them for the next hour and waited till the tow got there, which thankfully it did.

But now I kind of feel bad for not towing them myself, they clearly didn't have a lot of money based on condition of boat and lack of equipment.

Would you all have agreed to just tow them in on your own?
Old 06-21-2020, 06:49 PM
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I would have done the same thing you did.

Old 06-21-2020, 06:53 PM
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Whose credit card # did you give seatow?
Since you must have given them their credit card number they obviously have enough money for that. They run it before leaving the dock.

I would have towed them myself.
but they would have to attach the rope to their boat and they would have to attach it to the bow eye.





Old 06-21-2020, 06:57 PM
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You did the right thing. Towing them in makes you liable and you stood by, called for assistance and made sure they weren't in any danger till help arrived. Well done!
Old 06-21-2020, 07:00 PM
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Don't second guess your instincts.
Old 06-21-2020, 07:01 PM
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It's not 1990. If you're out there without seatow or equivalent then that's on you. Render aid or help immediate danger but i'm not towing anyone. It's like $130 so there's simply no ****ing excuse.
Old 06-21-2020, 07:01 PM
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Ain't your responsibility...until you give them a line.
Old 06-21-2020, 07:07 PM
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You did good.
Old 06-21-2020, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by mbb View Post
Whose credit card # did you give seatow?
Since you must have given them their credit card number they obviously have enough money for that. They run it before leaving the dock.

I would have towed them myself.
but they would have to attach the rope to their boat and they would have to attach it to the bow eye.
Sad but true.
Old 06-21-2020, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by MrWesson View Post
It's not 1990. If you're out there without seatow or equivalent then that's on you. Render aid or help immediate danger but i'm not towing anyone. It's like $130 so there's simply no ****ing excuse.
Well, it can be as little as $50 added on insurance.
Or 180/yr for seatow.

But that tow .....$$$ without it. Be lucky to come away under 500. Where I boat.....about $1200 min.

I paid $650 once..25 yrs ago. It was short tow , relatively speaking, mostly across calm bay back to marina. Powerpack died just as leaving pass.
Old 06-21-2020, 07:15 PM
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I would have done the same. Go with your gut. They are lucky you were even around.
Old 06-21-2020, 07:23 PM
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I will never tow with my boat unless the other boat is in direct danger. I would have done the same and waited all night if I had to with them until assistance arrived.
Old 06-21-2020, 07:25 PM
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I would have done the same thing, and called it in to the coasties.
Old 06-21-2020, 07:39 PM
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Tow them, potiential life and property were threatened, toss them a 30 ft line and go, attach to your stern eye and their bow eye, have seatow intercept on way back....what goes around, comes around....
Old 06-21-2020, 08:02 PM
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Had you towed them in, you would have robbed them of a very expensive, but very necessary lesson.
Old 06-21-2020, 08:04 PM
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Would have done the same thing in that situation. I'm mostly a lake guy and will slow tow most anyone, but not in a treacherous situation without proper equipment. You insured they made it back to the dock safely, while not taking undue risk. Solid choice.
Old 06-21-2020, 08:05 PM
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Good grief you yankees are all lawsuit scared. Quick judgement call is all that is needed to ensure you can tow it safety, and if so, then drag them in. The only real reason not to is if its too far (ie inconvenient), too rough, the boat is too big, or you really don't know how to operate a boat. Otherwise you are just a dick. Towing a boat similar or smaller at hull speed in smooth water is pretty basic.
Old 06-21-2020, 08:09 PM
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I have towed in four boats in the last two years and i'll do it as many times as i can, no big deal.
Old 06-21-2020, 08:17 PM
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So to summarize:
You saw a boat in distress.
You stopped to offer aid.
You offered aid.
They accepted aid.
They were returned to their families (with their boat and all their gear) safely.

Nothing wrong with that at all.
And nothing wrong with towing them in if that's what you had chosen to do.
Old 06-21-2020, 08:20 PM
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I may get hated for this, but I honestly would have called Pan Pan on their behalf for CG/Seatow support and told them to keep their lights on if possible. Then I would have gone home. Give their vessel name, description, location then leave.

I only say this because I'm a very guarded person, and them not having VHF, cellphone (especially within range) or any emergency plan just seems sketch.

If they were taking on water and threw a mayday call out it'd be a different story though.

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