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.
In your experience, how do boaters generally handle being stuck on the
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.
Are boaters typically embarrassed, grateful, or angry about needing
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.
What’s the strangest case you’ve ever had?
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
Any other notable cases?
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.
What’s the first thing boaters can do to avoid the types of problems
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.
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.”
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
No phone calls, please.
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