Capt. Thomas Savoy takes helm of TowBoatUS Lake Charles

(Left to right) Capt. Frank Billiot, Deckhand Shea Savoy and Capt. Thomas Savoy of TowBoatUS Lake Charles.
(Left to right) Capt. Frank Billiot, Deckhand Shea Savoy and Capt. Thomas Savoy of TowBoatUS Lake Charles.

24/7 on-water assistance and towing for boaters, anglers

A local on-water towing business that helps recreational boaters get home after routine breakdowns, TowBoatUS Lake Charles, has a new owner. Capt. Thomas Savoy, the towing port’s former captain, purchased the business from Capt. Fred Leger, his former boss. Savoy is a Lake Charles native, and after a career in IT and property management, he started as a deckhand at the company just two years ago.

TowBoatUS Lake Charles, which covers Sabine Pass, Calcasieu River and Vermillion Bay as well as Intracoastal and Gulf waters, is part of a nationwide network of 300 ports and 600 towing response vessels across the country that responded to more than 70,000 requests for assistance last year.

“Because of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway we see a lot of transient boaters passing through,” said Capt. Savoy, who holds a U.S. Coast Guard 50-Ton Master License. “That also means they may not have local knowledge. If you pass a tug on the wrong side, you can accidentally find yourself in a foot of water pretty fast.”

“I see all my customers as more than just boaters,” said Capt. Savoy. “When I do my work, arrive on scene and start to arrange a tow, I empathize. I don’t know what kind of day they’ve been having, but I let them know I will take great care getting them home and help their day get better. Sometimes things just happen. I bring out the happiness.”

Membership

Much like an auto club for boaters, TowBoatUS Lake Charles offers BoatUS on-water Unlimited Towing Memberships for saltwater boaters and anglers for just $159 per year. Boaters without BoatUS towing services face out-of-pocket costs that average $750 per towing incident, with some paying more. Included with Unlimited Towing membership are more than 25 Boat Owners Association of The United States benefits and discounts, a subscription to BoatUS Magazine, free DSC-VHF radio registration, and more.

Joining Savoy on the water is lead towing captain Frank Billiot, who is also U.S. Coast Guard-licensed. They helm the company’s two red, 20-foot response boats. The shallow-draft vessels are fully rigged for towing, soft ungroundings, fuel drops and battery jumps. Separate from BoatUS towing services, the company offers salvage and dive services, boat deliveries, training and pre-storm transfers for boaters securing vessels prior to hurricanes.

The fastest way to summon assistance from TowBoatUS Lake Charles is to download the free BoatUS App, which connects boaters to the closest local towing captain. Additionally, the company can be reached at 337-602-8698, by hailing on VHF channel 16, or by phoning the BoatUS toll-free 24/7 Dispatch Center at 800-391-4869. More information can be found at BoatUS.com/Towing, or by calling 800-888-4869.

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