On-the-Water Boat Towing Service Opens in Vancouver

Marine Industry Veteran and Former Scientist Goes Out on His Own

Capt. Paul Thomas, behind the wheel of his fully rigged response boat, has just opened Vessel Assist Vancouver. The company provides 24-hour on-the-water assistance to boaters.VANCOUVER, BC, May 4, 2011 - As a former marine scientist in Nova Scotia, Capt. Paul Thomas understands how the natural world works, especially on the water. The marine industry veteran, vessel operator and sailing instructor who grew up in Toronto (but has called Vancouver home for the last 35 years) has now opened Vessel Assist Vancouver. The on-the-water towing service gives boaters, sailors and anglers a reliable way to call for assistance when their boats break down on the water, run out of fuel or run aground. To see the location on a map, go to www.BoatUS.com/vancouver.

"Most boaters have an uneventful day on the water, but unfortunately some experience engine troubles, hit submerged logs, or have dead batteries," said Capt. Thomas. "Calling a friend to come out and get you isn't so simple anymore. For one annual fee we'll give you the convenience and piece of mind knowing that I will come out and get you, day or night, and bring you safely back to the marina or launch ramp with no out-of-pocket costs."

Much like an auto club for boaters, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) offers "Unlimited" on-the-water towing service plans for North American salt waters. They start at $125 a year for the Vessel Assist "Unlimited" towing plan with a 30-mile service area or $157 a year for a Vessel Assist "Unlimited Gold" towing plan with a 50-mile service area that also covers free tows from a home dock to a repair facility.

Both towing plans also require BoatUS or BoatUS Angler international membership at $40 annually. However, a $15 discount is available at West Marine locations, bringing down the price of annual international membership to just $25 if purchased in-store. Without a towing plan, boaters face costs that average over $600 per incident or about $250/hour. If you don't have a towing plan, these costs will be paid out of your own pocket.

Capt. Thomas, who is Transport Canada-licensed, also offers towing services for commercial mariners with a package priced at $257/year + $40 for annual BoatUS or BoatUS Angler international membership, designed specifically for industry professionals, charter boat operators or delivery captains. Additionally, he offers services outside the scope of BoatUS towing plans, such as repositioning houseboats and providing dive and salvage services.

Located at Lynwood Marina in North Vancouver, the company covers an area that ranges from ten miles west of Point Atkinson eastward to include English Bay, Indian Arm and Burrard Inlet.

Capt. Thomas has a 24-foot response boat that is fully rigged for marine towing and salvage work and ready to go at a moment's notice, including extra fuel, engine fluids, pump, and battery "jump pack" to handle dead batteries. It can be identified by its distinctive red hull and "Vessel Assist" lettering along its sides.

Recreational boaters, sailors and anglers can call Vessel Assist Vancouver 24-hours a day at their primary number, 778-227-6101, or secondary number 604-569-0574. They may also be reached through the BoatUS toll-free Dispatch Service at 800-391-4869, or by hailing on VHF radio channels 16 or 83a.

Vessel Assist Vancouver is the third Vessel Assist towing location in British Columbia, which includes Vessel Assist South Gulf Island and Vessel Assist Georgia Straight. Vessel Assist Vancouver is also part of North America's largest towing program that has over 600 towboats serving hundreds of ports and waterways coast to coast, including ten locations just south of the border in Washington State. For more information go to www.BoatUS.com/towing or call 800-888-4869.