By Nick Nahas
Sea Tow Tampa Bay has had smooth sailing under new owners Raul and Cile Moreno, who bought the franchise two years ago. Cile has had prior experience owning and running a company, with a background in sales and marketing. With her son and Sea Tow general manager, Captain Erich Jaeger’s previous knowledge of operating boating vessels, the company is off to a great start.
The company owns four towboats that are scattered throughout Tampa Bay for optimum coverage. The team consists of seven full-time captains that are available 24/7 in case of an emergency on the water. A wide variety of services are offered for a yearly membership to the company, including boater education classes and automated radio checks, as well as unlimited boat tows, battery jumps, and up to 20 gallons of gas delivery.
They even have a Sea Tow app that can be used for non-emergency assistance and access to tides and weather information. “We are ready to come out 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, no matter what, to come and get you,” Jaeger said. “When you have Sea Tow, we are going to get you home no matter what the case.”
May is National Boating Safety Month, giving Sea Tow Tampa Bay the perfect opportunity to help spread the word about boater safety throughout the bay. They have done their due diligence, providing boaters with every tool possible for a safe boating experience. In 2007, the Sea Tow Foundation, a grant program that provides free lifejackets to passengers, was established to promote boating safety. The company also created the Designated Skipper Program, attempting to spread awareness of the dangers of drinking and boating. “You should not be operating a vessel while impaired,” Jaeger said. “Alcohol is involved in almost every fatality on the water.”
With the varied hours and high levels of stress that it takes to maintain an operation that is constantly running, it helps that the business is family-run and operated, because everybody involved understands the demands of the job. “You never know when the job is coming, you just know that the job’s coming,” Jaeger said.
Jaeger said the family hopes that with the success of Sea Tow Tampa Bay they can purchase another Sea Tow franchise in the future.
For more information, you can visit their website at seatow.com/local/tampabay/.