On-the-Water Towing Company in Wrightsville Beach Has New Owners

Published online: Apr 06, 2009 News
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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, N.C., April 6, 2009 - Two U.S. Coast Guard licensed captains who first became friends in college have purchased TowBoatU.S. Wrightsville Beach, NC, an on-the-water towing and assistance company that recreational boaters can call to get reliable on-the-water assistance day or night. Battery jump starts, fuel drop offs, ungrounding services and tows back to a launch ramp are the most common requests.

Capt. Brooks Bridges and Capt. Matt Wild attended the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Both are avid surfers and divers. Bridges has held various deck positions on local head boats and private charter vessels from Atlantic Beach to New Bern and has been boating since the age of six. Wild, who grew up in the Piedmont, began boating as a teenager. As a recreational boater, he has owned many different boats over the years. "Most were not in the best condition," Wild says. "As a boater, I've experienced every mechanical problem myself, and even had to call BoatU.S. in the past for assistance," he added.

Bridges says he and Wild jumped at the opportunity to purchase the established business from Capt. George Bruton, who remains with the company as a towboat captain, as does Capt. Tom Morgan, who will continue to serve as primary towing captain. "It was a unique opportunity to pursue a joint business venture which involved doing what we both truly enjoy -- helping friends and family enjoy the coastal lifestyle as much as we do," said Bridges.

TowBoatU.S. Wrightsville Beach is located at The Docks at Two Marina Street by the Wrightsville Beach bridge. Stationed at the port are 25- and 22-foot ex-military Boston Whalers and a 22-foot catamaran. All three vessels can be identified by their distinctive red hulls, white bow stripes and "TowBoatU.S." lettering along their sides. Onboard each is a full complement of towing and salvage equipment including extra fuel, engine fluids, pumps, scuba gear and a battery "jump pack" to handle dead batteries.

The port's "extended" service area runs 75 miles out in the Atlantic. "This business entails dangerous and challenging work but we really enjoy it. We've had the Whalers out in 10-foot seas. How many people can say that their office is located anywhere between shore and dozens of miles out? " questions Bridges.

BoatU.S. offers
"Unlimited" on-the-water towing plans for coastal salt and brackish waters for just $135 a year, which includes BoatU.S. membership Without a towing plan, boaters face costs that nationally average about $600 per incident. Boaters in need of towing assistance can reach TowBoatU.S. Wrightsville Beach by calling the company directly at 910-367-0868; by VHF radio on channel 16; or through the BoatU.S. toll-free Dispatch Service at 800-391-4869.

BoatUS.com/towing for more information.

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