TowBoatUS Red Wing, MN, Reopens with Capt. Michael Jorgensen in Charge
Capt. Michael Jorgensen is thrilled to be able to help boaters on the Upper Mississippi once again. Jorgensen was captain of the towing response boat at TowBoatUS Red Wing from 2005 through 2013. But service was suspended in 2014 due to an ownership change at Bills Bay Marina where TowBoatUS Red Wing is based. Now, Jorgensen is back in business, ready to help Upper Mississippi River recreational boaters get back to port safely even if they have a mechanical breakdown, run out of fuel, need a battery jump, or need help getting off a sandy shoal.
Much like an auto club for boaters, TowBoatUS offers on water Unlimited towing plans for freshwater boaters and anglers for just $72 a year that includes BoatUS membership. Without a towing plan, boaters face costs that average $750 per incident nationally.
Capt. Michael Jorgensen aboard his TowBoatUS response vessel.
The area he serves, from Stillwater on the St. Croix River to Wabasha at the southern end of Lake Pepin, is an extremely popular boating area. At 21 miles long and nearly two miles wide, the lake, which serves as a border between Minnesota and Wisconsin, is longest stretch of unencumbered water on the Mississippi, and it is one of the best fishing areas on the river.
Pleasure boats must share the water with tugs and barges, but Jorgensen says there are few conflicts because most everyone knows the rules. "As long as boaters know the rules of the road and have a good knowledge of marks and buoys, they can have trouble-free boating around here," - he said. And if anyone has difficulty, Jorgensen will be there to help. There are no locks or dams on the lake, but there are a couple of shallow spots, where Jorgensen sometimes gets calls to help boaters who’ve run aground. "Usually I can help them out," - he said.
Jorgensen, who has been boating since childhood, has worked in the marine industry since 1984 and has been a USCG licensed captain since 2004. He also works as a mechanic and service manager at the marina, but he is happiest when he is on the water, going to the aid of fellow boaters in his bright red TowBoatUS towing vessel. The boat, a 21-foot Century center console with a 200-horsepower Yamaha engine, bears the TowBoatUS name and logo in large white letters and is on call 24-hours a day, seven days a week. It is fully equipped with radar, spotlights dewatering pumps, battery jump packs, extra fuel and towing gear.
TowBoatUS Red Wing is based at Bills Bay Marina in Red Wing – to see the location on a map go to BoatUS.com/redwing. The service can be hailed on VHF channel 16 or reached by calling Jorgensen directly at 651-380-4634, or by calling the BoatUS toll-free 24/7 Dispatch Center at 800-391-4869, and via smartphone with the free BoatUS Towing App. BoatUS is also the only towing service that offers services with both SPOT and DeLorme inReach satellite communication devices.
More information can be found at BoatUS.com/towing or call 800-888-4869.
About BoatUS, TowBoatUS and Vessel Assist:
Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is the nation's leading advocate, services and safety group for recreational boaters. We provide our over half-million members with a wide array of helpful services, including 24-hour on water towing that gets you safely home when your boat won’t, will bring you fuel if you run out, jump start your dead battery, or provide a gentle pull after you’ve run aground. The TowBoatUS and Vessel Assist towing fleets are the North America’s largest network of towing ports with over 300 locations and over 600 towing assistance vessels, responding to over 70,000 requests for assistance each year. See more at BoatUS.com/towing.