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A record once broken, hundreds of boaters assisted

By Tim Croft
The Star

More than two decades ago Dennis Douglas was breaking powerboating records. 

This year he is celebrating 20 years of assisting boaters. 

And, Capt. Douglas, owner of Sea Tow Port St. Joe said, he has rarely been busier. 

The past six months alone have been among the busiest he’s experienced. 

Capt. Dennis Douglas celebrated 20 years with Sea Tow Port St. Joe

“We are experiencing one of the busiest seasons on the books and it’s very much related to COVID-19,” Douglas said. “People want to be out social distancing naturally on the water. 

“Fishing has been gangbusters, especially the red snapper and scallop season will bring upwards of 1,000 boats with families out.” 

In 1999, Douglas set a top record in the Super Stock Outboard Powerboat Class. 

Since that record, and the resulting spray in the face, he has remained on the water and felt that spray more than once over the past 20 years. 

Douglas has long been familiar to local boaters, providing tows, jump starts, fuel deliveries while covering an area from Panama City to Apalachicola, including offshore into the Gulf. 

“If you enjoy the water as much as I do, it kind of gets into your blood,” Douglas said “It is not always a bright and sunny day out on the water, and as local experts, we have to be able to manage all kinds of situations.” 

At the same time, Douglas added, “There is a certain amount of excitement to the work and being able to bring the area a sense of security while out enjoying the amazing waters here.” 

After Hurricane Michael, Douglas worked with partners with salvage work and repairs. 

But, desiring to give back, Douglas also locally launched the Life Jacket Loaner Stations. 

“The Life Jacket Loaner Stations are one of the best programs that the Sea Tow Foundation offers to help serve the public,” Douglas said. “If you can help families boat safer, what is it worth?  

“To me the world. That is why I worked so hard to host four stations in the Port. St. Joe area for my community and three more by Panama City.”  

Sea Tow Port St. Joe is part of Sea Tow Services International

On his 20th anniversary with the Sea Tow Services International, Douglas was recognized by CEO Joseph Frohnhoefer III. 

“We’re excited to help Capt. Douglas celebrate 20 years of contributions to his community,” Frohnhoefer said. “He goes above and beyond in all that he does, and truly upholds the values of Sea Tow in all his work.”