sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Good Samaritans Tossing A Towline: For Free or for Money?
Good Samaritans Tossing A Towline: For Free or for Money?

'Good samaritan tow'    .

Tossing a towline to a disabled boat and bringing it back safely to the launch ramp is a time honored act of kindness that recreational boaters have always done for each other. But what happens if the Good Samaritan tossing the line decides to charge for their services? Is there much of a difference between a Good Sam looking for a little extra gas money and a professional towing service charging for on water towing services?

According to Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), who are speaking about the USA regulatory systems, once money changes hands for a routine tow, a Good Sam is opened up to a world of liability they may not want in their lap. Accepting money also requires a mariner’s credential – such as a Captain’s license – and would require commercial registration of the towing vessel.

These are explored more thoroughly below, but first, for boaters committed to being a Good Samaritan, BoatUS has these tips:

Never put yourself in danger or go beyond your capabilities.
For the safety of everyone, always report disabled vessels to the Coast Guard or other authority.
Ensure that your cleats are properly backed and you have the properly sized tow line (some lines can stretch and suddenly break).
Understand that once you start towing, the Good Sam has a duty for the safety and care for those aboard the disabled vessel.
Minimize risk by having everyone don their life jackets and remain seated – away from the bow in case a line parts or cleat gives way.
Maintain headway for control, but don’t tow any faster than leaving a small wake.
Be careful to prevent other boat traffic from crossing the towline. Keep a horn or whistle available to warn others to stay clear.

Always tow to the nearest safe place. While it may not be near where anyone wants to go, it will shorten the time of the tow and minimize any exposure liability, and gets passengers to a place where they can fix the boat or arrange for a proper tow.

The BoatUS 24-hour Dispatch Center can be reached at 800-391-4869 or via the free BoatUS Towing App.

Another option is to stand close by, but not undertake the tow and wait for a responder to arrive while staying close just in case of emergencies.

Why is Boat US offering these tips when it conducts a towing service itself? While BoatUS offers the largest on water towing fleet in the US, it understands the law of averages: There are 12 million registered recreational vessels in the nation and some are bound to breakdown. In 2013, the BoatUS 24-hour dispatch centers alone received 70,000 requests for on water assistance, and the boat owners group says there are likely thousands of Good Samaritans each year lending a helping hand to other boaters. Said BoatUS Towing Services Vice President Adam Wheeler, 'Towing is a job best left for the professionals, but many boaters often find themselves in areas where professional assistance is not available.'

While Good Samaritan laws vary from state to state, they generally provide that anyone who renders aid to injured persons is not liable for any damages if the assistance is provided in good faith, without compensation or other consideration, and without gross negligence. And in fact, in some states, failing to render emergency assistance to the persons involved can also possibly put you in trouble with the law – but there is no duty to require a Good Sam to tow or 'save' a boat.

For federally designated ‘navigable’ waterways, federal law trumps state law and says that the master or individual involved in rendering assistance 'is not liable for damages as a result of rendering assistance or for an act or omission in providing or arranging salvage, towage, medical treatment or other assistance when the individual acts as an ordinary, reasonable and prudent individual would have acted under the circumstances.'

'A boater who does not charge for rendering assistance is protected under the Good Samaritan laws for any damages or injuries that might occur during the tow,' said Wheeler. 'If money exchanges hands and someone gets injured or the disabled boat gets damaged, you’re no longer considered a Good Sam and would be opening the door to much more liability. You may be even personally liable, depending on your insurance policy – if you have one. It’s just something else to think about before throwing a towline and asking for money. A commercial towing company carries insurance to cover those types of mishaps.'

A Good Sam could also remain on the right side of the law - and keep potential liability low - by simply removing the disabled boat’s occupants and returning them to the dock, while arranging for a local tow of the broken down (and safely anchored) boat.

'It’s always good to help out a fellow boater because sooner or later, it could be you asking for a tow back to the dock,' said Wheeler.

BoatUS towing plans start at $67 annually (freshwater boaters) and include BoatUS or BoatUS Angler membership. For more, go to www.BoatUS.com/towing.

About BoatUS:
Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing its over half-million members with government representation, services such as 24-hour dispatch, on water boat towing as well as roadside assistance for boat trailers and tow vehicles, feature-packed boat insurance programs, money-saving benefits including marina and service discounts, and vital information that improves recreational boating. Its member-funded BoatUS Foundation is a national leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating and offers range of boating safety courses – including 33 free state courses – that can be found at BoatUS.org/courses.


by BoatUS/Sail-World Cruising


  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=123043

11:39 PM Sat 7 Jun 2014GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World

Sail-World 2.0 - the Beta version- Please take a look by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,


America's Cup: Team NZ wish Davis well with new team by Richard Gladwell, Sail-world.com/nz,


Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 CEO Knut Frostad talks (Part I) *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,


Fisher's View: Sailing perfection at Hamilton Island- Day 3 by Bob Fisher, Hamilton Island, Queensland






2014 Formula Kite World Championship Day 1 by Markus Schwendtner, Istanbul
























Opera House Cup - Images by Ingrid Abery by Ingrid Abery/Sail-World.com,


Teams descend upon Cowes for inaugural J/111 World Championships by Stuart Johnstone, Cowes, Isle of Wight, England




























2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games trailer
2014 Chicago Grand Slam - Canfield wins
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Varuna takes overall lead
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week; Crosbie Lorimer Day 1 Images
Fisher's View: Hamilton Island Race Week - Day 1 - Stayin' Alive
CORK Olympic Classes Regatta 2014 - Day one
Youth Olympics: practice over, athletes welcomed, time for YOG sailing
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Record for Artemis-Team Endeavour
2014 Melges 32 U.S. National Championship - Day 2
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland: Artemis sets fourth course record
2014 Chicago Grand Slam - Top seeds survive as semi-finalists
420 and 470 Junior Europeans - Breezy day 4 in Gdynia
RC44 World Championship - Dramatic improvement for Artemis Racing
18' Skiff International Regatta - Action begins August 25th
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Challenging conditions arise
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Record-breaking monohull victory
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Dongfeng Race Team finishes third
RC44 Marstrand World Championship - Bronenosec the star performer
Bahamian Olympic Sailor to carry flag in honour of Sir Durward Knowles
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: Records continue to tumble
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: Course Record for Team SCA   
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Team Alvimedica completes the race   
2014 Melges 32 U.S. National Championship - Day 1   
420 and 470 Junior European Championships - A crazy race day 3   
2014 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race: Monohull record smashed   
2014 Chicago Grand Slam - Top seeds take the early lead   
Frostad proud to have seven Volvo Ocean Race boats with seven sponsors *Feature   
RC44 World Championship - Bronenosec Sailing Team on form   
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Dongfeng defends third position   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind emerges into the sunlight   
Volvo Ocean Race: Round Britain on board Team SCA with the   
Volvo Ocean Race: Round Britain on board Azzam and Team Campos   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race - Twist of fate on day 5   
Mallorca’s Puerto Portals to host the 2015 TP52 World Championship   
Volvo Ocean Race: Round Britain on board with Team Alvimedica   
Volvo Ocean Race: Round Britain with on board with Team Dongfeng   
Melges 32 U.S. National Championship 2014 - Teams ready for action   
USA Match Racing Grand Slam Series - Kicks off in Chicago   
U.S. Youth Championships - Climactic finish on Lake St. Clair   
Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games - Lake Jinniu action on the horizon   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT