06/15/15 5:58am
06/15/2015 5:58 AM
Michael Wesolowski. (Credit: courtesy)

Michael Wesolowski. (Credit: Sea Tow)

As the new executive director of the Sea Tow Foundation, which promotes safe boating practices, Michael Wesolowski has his sights set on creating an improved website for users.

Mr. Wesolowski was recently hired as executive director for the foundation, which was formed in 2007 by Sea Tow founder Joseph Frohnhoefer(more…)

03/24/15 5:34pm
03/24/2015 5:34 PM
The Frohnhoefer family (from left) Kristen, Joseph III and parents Joseph and Georgia in July 2012. (Credit: Courtesy photo)

The Frohnhoefer family (from left) Kristen, Joseph III and parents Joseph and Georgia in July 2012. (Credit: Courtesy photo)

Joseph Frohnhoefer Jr., the charitable businessman who founded the Southold-based marine assistance company Sea Tow Services International and donated to several causes across the North Fork, died Tuesday. He was 71.

Mr. Frohnhoefer was a former Coast Guard captain and a licensed electrician who taught for 20 years at Mattituck High School. After serving as a Bay Constable for Southold Town police, he founded Sea Tow in 1983 to help boaters stranded on the water. (more…)

09/18/14 8:00am
09/18/2014 8:00 AM
Patrick O’Halloran (left) and Garrett Moore met for the first time Tuesday evening in the Mitchell Park marina, hours after a joint effort to rescue six boaters and bring an out-of-control cigarette boat to a halt in the waters of Greenport Harbor. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

Patrick O’Halloran (left) and Garrett Moore met for the first time Tuesday evening in the Mitchell Park marina, hours after a joint effort to rescue six boaters and bring an out-of-control cigarette boat to a halt in the waters of Greenport Harbor. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

No, a scene from a dramatic action movie wasn’t being filmed in Greenport Harbor on Monday. What happened was this: After six people were flung from a speeding powerboat that had turned sideways, two strangers who live on opposite sides of the bay played integral roles in rescuing the victims and ensuring safety in the harbor by bringing the runaway boat to a halt.  (more…)

07/07/13 7:30am
07/07/2013 7:30 AM

CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | Sea Tow has a loaner life vest station at Founders Landing in Southold.

Sea Tow has launched its national Life Jacket Loaner Station program for the 2013 summer season.

The program allows boaters to borrow life jackets while they’re out on the water, on the condition the vests eventually be returned.

The program was made possible by a $20,000 donation from the beverage distributer Clare Rose, Inc., of Yaphank, and American brewing giant Anheuser-Busch, of St. Louis.

“We are honored to be aligned with Clare Rose, a like-minded, local family-run business, and with Anheuser-Busch, which has been the industry leader in promoting alcohol responsibility on and off the water for the past 30 years,” said Sea Tow Founder and CEO, Captain Joe Frohnhoefer in a statement. “We want to do what we can to help reduce preventable accidents and have a safer 2013 season.”

The Southold-based company, celebrating 30 years in business, also offers free boating safety and information services to the public, including the Sea Tow App for smartphones and Sea Tow’s Automated Radio Check Service.

Life jackets are available at the following locations on the North Fork:

— Treasure Cove Marina, Riverhead

— Mitchell Park Marina, Greenport

— Gull Pond, Greenport

— Founders Landing, Southold

— Strong’s Marina, Mattituck

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10/06/12 10:00am
10/06/2012 10:00 AM

SONJA REINHOLT DERR FILE PHOTO | A boater safety bill approved by the Suffolk Legislature aims at reducing on-the-water mishaps, such as when the driver of this powerboat ran up on the Greenport Harbor jetty two summers ago.

Legislation aimed at making Suffolk County waters safer will likely be signed by County Executive Steve Bellone next week, a spokeswoman for Mr. Bellone said Wednesday.

But some local businessmen are hoping Mr. Bellone will reconsider, saying the boater safety bill needs to be rewritten to avoid harming the regional marine industry.

The proposed law, which county legislators passed unanimously on Sept. 13, would require all Suffolk residents to pass an approved boater’s safety course before operating some pleasure boats in Suffolk waters. The law would not apply to rowboats, canoes or kayaks.

“At this point in time it is our intention to sign the legislation,” said the spokeswoman, Vanessa Baird-Streeter, adding there could be a public signing of the legislation late next week. “We want to ensure that Suffolk County waters are safe and that those who are boating understand boating safety. The boating safety certificate for Suffolk County residents will only help to ensure safe travel on our waterways.”

But Captain Joe Frohnhoefer, owner of Southold-based Sea Tow International, which offers towing and other services for boaters in distress, said he worries that the bill could hurt the marine industry and the sale of boats and would be impossible to enforce in such a short time.

“Education is important, but you’re looking at 18 months to train thousands of people and the state doesn’t have the time or the money to get the personnel and materials to do that,” Mr. Frohnhoefer said. He added that he knows several people interested in filing legal challenges if the measure is enacted.

“The bill is kind of discriminatory as it only requires Suffolk County residents to apply for certification, though boaters from Maine, Florida and other states also boat in Suffolk County waters in the summer,” he said.

Alex Galasso, the owner of Larry’s Lighthouse Marina in Aquebogue, said the law is a “bit vague.” He agrees with Captain Frohnhoefer that it carries the potential to chase boaters from local waters.

“This legislation requires Suffolk County residents to get safety certification but not people from outside of the area,” Mr. Galasso said. “So people who know the local waters will need certification, but not people from outside of the area?”

A spokesman for Legislator Steven Stern (D-Huntington), the bill’s sponsor, said he hopes the state will follow the county’s lead and enact a statewide measure.

He noted that neighboring states already require boating licenses.

“If you’re coming from other states, especially New Jersey or Connecticut, you’re OK because you’ve probably gone above and beyond what we’re asking for,” said the spokesman, Brian Galgano. “You don’t need to have a boater’s license in New York like you do in those states.”

Mr. Galgano said the law would not take effect until a year after it’s signed. That would give the Coast Guard Auxiliary, United States Power Squadrons and similar organizations offering safe-boating courses that meet the standards set by the National Association of Boating Law Administrators time to “get everyone on board” and receive necessary safety certification.

Mr. Frohnhoefer insisted that a year is still too short a time.

North Fork Legislator Ed Romaine (R-Center Moriches) said although the bill’s purpose is laudable and valuable, the county may be preempting the state’s authority.

The executive’s office disagrees. “The legislation clearly states it is over Suffolk County residents having to do with Suffolk County waters,” Ms. Baird-Streeter said.

Mr. Stern said he has “every confidence” that the law would be upheld if challenged. “It’s important to keep in mind that it’s a reasonable, bipartisan legislative initiative that was passed unanimously.”

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