CARRABELLE, FL – Five years ago, when Capt. Daimin Barth began as a part-time captain for a TowBoatUS company on Florida’s Gulf Coast, “I always knew that I wanted to do my own thing,” says the 36-year-old and former auto mechanic. After helping to manage the port’s growth and a near tripling of the volume of on-water response cases, the desire to become an owner only grew. Now, Capt. Barth has realized his dream and is the new owner of TowBoatUS Carrabelle and TowBoatUS St. Marks, Florida.
It hasn’t been easy. Barth had his sights on some TowBoatUS locations, but each time unsurmountable challenges to a sale popped up. He persevered and is now excited about his ownership role at Carrabelle and St. Marks. “I couldn’t ask for better locations, and I’m so happy to have this opportunity assisting Panhandle boaters and anglers,” says Barth, whose wife, Amber Zigadlo, joins him managing the company’s business operations and dispatching.
Just two years ago, Barth was honored with a TowBoatUS Meritorious Service Award for his single-handed good Samaritan rescue of a swimmer who was being swept out to sea – all the while he was still operating under tow of a disabled vessel.
Much like an auto club for recreational boat owners, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) offers on-water Unlimited Towing Memberships for saltwater boaters and anglers for just $165 per year. Membership comes with more than 25 valuable BoatUS benefits, including discounts at local fuel docks and transient slips at marinas. Also included are a subscription to BoatUS Magazine, free DSC-VHF radio registration and more.
The company’s service area runs 50 miles offshore. Barth said the region’s substantial currents, shifting shoals and extensive shallows, including on the Carabelle, St. Marks and Apalachicola Rivers, sometimes lead to boat owners needing soft ungrounding services. He encourages boaters to contact him for local knowledge to avoid such situations.
In addition to ungrounding, his company’s five red TowBoatUS response vessels, some of which are newly acquired having shallow drafts well-suited for the region’s waters, provide towing, battery jump and fuel drop-off services. One towboat is kept on a trailer ready to go at a moment’s notice, speeding response times on upriver locations. All the company’s captains are U.S. Coast Guard-licensed.
Barth’s two locations are part of the nationwide TowBoatUS fleet of more than 600 red vessels that respond to more than 90,000 requests for routine assistance each year. Separate from BoatUS on-water towing, the company offers boat salvage services.
The fastest way to request assistance from TowBoatUS Carrabelle and St. Marks is to download the free BoatUS App, which connects boaters to the closest local towing captain. Additionally, the company can be reached at 860-617-2126 or by phoning the BoatUS toll-free 24/7 Dispatch Center at 800-391-4869.
For more go to BoatUS.com/Towing or call 800-888-4869.