The past July Fourth holiday lived up to its reputation as the busiest recreational boating weekend of the year, according to Sea Tow Services International.
The marine assistance group logged more than 3,900 calls during the five-day holiday weekend, and responded to nearly 1,600 calls for assistance, an increase of nearly 15 percent from last year.
"Despite the current market environment, our overall phone volume remained steady, with a fairly significant increase in requests for on-water assistance," Capt. Joseph Frohnhoefer II, Sea Tow's vice president of operations, said in a statement. "To us, this indicates a steady level of boating activity despite a flat economy, high fuel costs and relatively low boat sales being reported."
A sampling of the 1,600 service calls included:
135 fuel drop requests
123 jump starts
13 Marine Assistance Request Broadcast calls
MARB is a general broadcast by the U.S. Coast Guard to announce that a boater needs help. This is used in non-emergency situations, and usually the boater does not hold a membership with a marine assistance provider.
Nearly 400 calls came during off-peak hours, between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Sea Tow Atlantic City, N.J. and Sea Tow Freeport, N.Y. reported the highest level of activity in the network.
Founded in 1983, Sea Tow serves more than 150,00 members in 110 locations throughout the United states, Europe, Australia, Bahamas and Puerto Rico.