Bruce Richards has always felt at home on his 18-foot Bayliner, the Namor ’74. One of his favorite trips is heading out with friends and family from Pascagoula, Mississippi for overnight camping trips on Petit Bois Island on the Gulf Islands National Seashore. They’ve made the journey numerous times over the past ten years – so much that it has become a bit of a family tradition. That is, until one fateful night in April, when Murphy’s Law reared its ugly head.
As Bruce set off with his daughter, her friend and his nephew, the weather could not have been better. It was sunny, the waters were calm and they were having a great time, until suddenly, the Namor ‘74’s outboard motor made a horrible noise and stopped running.
After getting the motor up and running again, Bruce came to find he had no forward gear. He quickly called Captain Chris Ward at Sea Tow South Mississippi to take advantage of his trusted Sea Tow Gold Plan membership.
It was a busy day out on the waters of Southern Mississippi and all of Captain Ward’s boats were already on calls. Bruce was close to his destination, so he arranged to have Captain Ward come out to tow them back to shore in the morning – allowing the family to still enjoy their overnight camping trip on the island.
Just when it looked like the worst was behind them, the situation continued to deteriorate. At about 2 a.m., what was originally predicted as a 30-percent chance of showers turned into a full-blown thunderstorm. Bruce and his family were safe in their tents, but the Namor ’74 wasn’t so lucky.
In the morning, Bruce awoke to find his boat washed ashore and being pounded by strong waves. With conditions still sloppy, an un-shoring and tow was impossible. That would prove no problem for Captain Ward and his colleague Captain Chris Wrightson.
Captain Wrightson arrived early that morning to take the Richards back to shore. Once they were safe ashore, he and Captain Ward worked out a plan to recover the boat and start working toward getting things back to normal.
Within just a couple days, the Namor ’74 was back in business. Captain Ward even went above and beyond the call of duty by collecting all of the family’s camping gear they were forced to leave on the island and even helped walk them through the insurance process.
Because of Captain Ward and his crew, Bruce said his disastrous night ended up being little more than a hiccup.
Weeks later, the Namor ’74 has a brand-new motor and Bruce and his family are back on the water, doing what they love. “None of this would be possible without the hard work and dedication of Captain Ward and his crew at Sea Tow South Mississippi, Bruce said. “Sea Tow captains like these,” Richards said, “are why we will remain Sea Tow members for as long as I am boating.”
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