Capt. David Lee Denz and his wife, Capt. Laura Denz, have opened Lake Whitney's first full-time TowBoatU.S. Lake Whitney is located at Lake Whitney Marina, TX at Jupiter Cove.
The Denz's have stationed a 25-foot Pursuit response boat at the port that 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.
The Denz's are both USCG licensed captains and members of the USCG Auxiliary. It was while serving in this volunteer force that David first began providing tows on the lake as the Auxiliary is often called upon by fire departments and law enforcement agencies to assist boaters. Honing their towing skills, the couple now has several hundred hours of towing experience on inland and offshore waters. A third captain and two experienced mates round out the company roster.
David and Laura are also certified Texas Department of Park and Wildlife boating instructors and have taught several classes in the area. David, a former surfer and Air Force combat veteran, has also recently opened a cruise and tour business on the lake.
David says mechanical breakdowns are one of the more common reasons boaters request on-the-water help. In the spring, incomplete spring commissioning and bad fuel also causes problems. But it's the lake's size - just 24 miles long and four miles at its widest - that gets some boaters into trouble. "They may underestimate the effect that wind has on the lake, which whips up waves that can swamp a small boat pretty easily," says David. Nationwide, the BoatU.S. towing fleet received over 60,000 requests for assistance from boaters last year.
BoatU.S. offers "Unlimited" on-the-water towing plans for freshwater boaters at just $53 a year, which includes BoatU.S. membership - a 70% discount off last year's pricing. Without a towing plan, boaters face costs that nationally average about $600 per incident. Boaters in need of towing assistance can reach TowBoatU.S. Lake Whitney by calling the company directly at 254-694-0808; by VHF radio on channel 16; or through the BoatU.S. toll-free Dispatch Service at 800-391-4869 or visit http://www.BoatUS.com/Towing for more information.