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FYI: July 2004 Page 2

FYI — July 2004
By Brad Dunn
   
 
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Killer Whale of a Problem, Things We Like, and more
• Part 2: A Word With... Tim Morgan, and more

 Related Resources
• News/FYI Index

A Word With... Capt. Tim Morgan
As owner of Sea Tow Fort Lauderdale, one of the busiest boat-towing franchises in the country, Capt. Tim Morgan has helped thousands of boaters out of a jam. The Westport, Massachusetts, native and veteran shellfisherman is also trained in commercial diving and underwater welding. PMY recently talked to him about some of his most memorable work.

Q: In your experience, how do boaters generally handle being stuck on the water?
A: Everyone reacts differently. It’s funny: You put two boaters in the exact same predicament, and they’ll respond completely the opposite. One guy will run out of fuel and panic as though he were about to die. Another guy will be up to his knees in water and act like nothing’s wrong.

Q: Are boaters typically embarrassed, grateful, or angry about needing your help?
A: Most are grateful. We get a lot of very nice thank-you letters. But sometimes they do get embarrassed. Especially when they call you because their engine won’t start, and it turns out their shifter is in forward.

Q: What’s the strangest case you’ve ever had?
A: Well, once we responded to a call on a capsized boat, and as we approached we saw an older man, probably in his seventies, trying to drive up on top of the boat with his inflatable. It was surreal. He would get up some speed, drive up on the hull, and then slide back down. We shouted, “What are you doing?” He shouted back, “There must be a bubble stuck in there!” Turns out he was trying to sink his boat for the insurance but didn’t realize the cored foam was keeping it afloat. It was very humorous.

Q: Any other notable cases?
A: Once we were on the radio with a boater who was stuck offshore at night. We asked him for his location. He told us, “I’m right in the moonbeam.” I’m not kidding. He said, “Just get in the moonbeam and head right for the moon. You’ll run right into me.” I tried to explain that no matter where you are, you’re in the moonbeam. He didn’t get it, but we found him anyway.

Q: What’s the first thing boaters can do to avoid the types of problems you see?
A: Absolutely the most important thing is preparation. I can’t tell you how many boaters get themselves in a bad situation that is entirely avoidable if they had just given a little more thought to what they were doing. Running out of fuel, for instance; there’s no reason that should happen. Flares, radio, batteries, water: Keep a checklist, and check it every time you go out.

And the Winner Is...
This spring, thousands of boaters entered our online contest for the chance to win a free Inmarsat F33 satellite communications system. But in the end we could only pick one name at random. That name was Joseph Pizzolato of New York. “I was totally shocked,” Pizzolato says. “It’s the only thing I’ve ever won.”

Pizzolato plans to install the Inmarsat system in his Hatteras 63, which he cruises often to Miami and the Bahamas. He says that he has used other boaters’ F33s and that he’s excited to have one of his own. “Both the Internet and phone will allow us to conduct business no matter how far from the shore we are,” he says.

Got an interesting boating story for this column? Write to FYI, Power & Motoryacht, 260 Madison Ave., 8th Fl., New York, NY 10016. Fax: (917) 256-2282. e-mail: eileen.mansfield@primedia.com. No phone calls, please.

Next page > Killer Whale of a Problem, and more > Page 1, 2

This article originally appeared in the June 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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