April 2008 News

Capt. Clint Allen, a former commercial lobsterman and scalloper, has opened his second on-the-water towing port that provides assistance to recreational boaters. TowBoatU.S. Westport, MA will be staffed by Capt. John Bevis and is located on the Westport River at Tripps Boatyard. Allen also operates TowBoatU.S. New Bedford.

TowBoatU.S. Westport is equipped with a 23-foot Proline response vessel which can be identified by its distinctive red hull, white bow stripes and "TowBoatU.S." lettering along its side. Onboard is a full complement of towing and salvage equipment including extra fuel, engine fluids, pumps, and a battery "jump pack" to handle dead batteries.

Many of the calls for assistance from area boaters are related to engine breakdowns, but dead batteries and running out of fuel are also common. "Unlike an automobile breakdown, you can't safely pull over to the side of the road," said Allen. "That's what we're here for - to get you safely home. This new location will greatly reduce response times," he added.

Capt. Allen grew up on Buzzards Bay and currently resides in Dartmouth with his family. In addition to his lobstering background, Allen was formerly a shore engineer for a number of fishing vessels. He's also an active firefighter with the New Bedford Fire Department and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary member who provides a safety boat for local events such as the 4th of July fireworks, annual Buzzards Bay swim, and participates in the Working Waterfront Festival.

Similar to a roadside auto club, BoatU.S. offers on-the-water assistance plans starting at just $37 a year. Without a towing plan, boaters face costs that nationally average about $600 per incident. Boaters in need of towing assistance can reach TowBoatU.S. Westport by calling the company directly at 508-990-3997; by VHF radio on channel 16; or through the BoatU.S. toll-free Dispatch Service at 800-391-4869 or visit for more information.

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