Shortly after his passing, more than 500 people gathered for a Celebration of Capt. Joe’s Life at Founder’s Wharf in Southold, including Sea Tow Franchisees who traveled there from seven different states. They enjoyed a casual outdoor barbecue with Capt. Joe’s family and friends – just the way he would have wanted it.
A visionary entrepreneur and a lifelong first responder who made saving lives and helping others his priority, Capt. Joe leaves a lasting impact on the entire boating world. In addition to running Sea Tow with the help of his wife; daughter, Kristen Frohnhoefer, and son, Capt. Joseph Frohnhoefer III, Capt. Joe was a teacher and a volunteer EMT in his local community of Southold, N.Y., on Long Island’s North Fork. He also served two terms on the U.S. Towing Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC), formed to advise U.S. Secretary of Transportation on matters relating to shallow-draft inland and coastal waterway navigation and towing safety.
The many awards that Capt. Joe received during the course of his career include the 2002 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the service division for the New York Metro Region. In 2014, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) honored Capt. Joe with the prestigious Charles. F. Chapman Award, recognizing his distinguished career spanning more than 40 years in the boating industry.
Throughout his career Capt. Joe strived, both personally and professionally, to make the water a safer and more enjoyable place for boaters. In 2007, Sea Tow founded the nonprofit Sea Tow Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes boating safety and life jacket use. Since its start, the Foundation has distributed more than 29,000 free loaner life jackets to boaters who need them for a day of fun on the water.
Capt. Joe’s family, friends, Sea Tow franchisees and colleagues, and the countless boaters he aided directly and indirectly throughout the years mourn the loss of this irreplaceable man. The entire franchise network and team at Sea Tow International will continue to help boaters and keep them safe, just as Capt. Joe wanted.