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Sea Tow Crystal Coast

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My Local Sea Tow

My Local Sea Tow Captain

Capt. Chris Willis
Captain Salvatore "Cody" Catapano
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You may rest assured that your vessel will be in good hands due to the trained and committed captains we have on staff. Our commitment to safety and customer satisfaction has helped make us the leading and most respected marine assistance provider in the world. Our captains are standing by 24/7 to assist our members both on and off the water. Give us a call any time, we can help or just say hello!

Our Team

Chris Willis – Owner and Captain

For over 25 years Captain Chris Willis has owned and operated Sea Tow Wrightsville Beach, and is now the owner of the Crystal Coast franchise.  Prior to Sea Tow, he owned and operated East Coast Marine.  With over 30 years of towing and recovery in Wrightsville Beach and now the Carteret County areas, he has become a staple in the boating community.  Starting with a used Grady White and a few borrowed dollars, Captain Chris built Sea Tow Wrightsville Beach into the 3rd largest Sea Tow franchise in world, looking to repeat his success with Crystal Coast.  He has since moved from that single Grady White to a fleet of Twin Vee boats equipped with state-of-the-art features such as the latest in navigation equipment, GPS vessel tracking, and on-board cameras.  As a recipient of the 2007 Franchise of the Year Award, Chris has left his mark on the Sea Tow community.  He is a pioneer when it comes to the development of towing vessels, being the first to test the Triumph and Twin Vee catamarans as tow boats.  He has led multiple captains towards owning their own franchises and others to becoming part of the Sea Tow International Management team.  He is known for his dedication to the excellence and professionalism Sea Tow stands for.  Captain Chris is a lifelong resident of the southeastern coastal area of North Carolina. He continues to be active in the daily operations of Sea Tow Wrightsville Beach and Crystal Coast.  Chris has been a USCG Licensed Captain since 1987.

Captain Pete Koltun – Operations Manager

Captain Pete has been on the water his entire life and began a career with the United States Coast Guard at 17, and retired after 21 years of service. Serving many years on the Outer Banks and Fort Macon he was transferred to Cutter Duty on the West Coast. Then finishing out his military career in Miami Florida as a deployable team leader and Chief Boatswain Mate.  After retirement Captain Pete entered the private sector and moved back to Carteret County, an area he fell in love with during his tour of duty at Fort Macon.  He continued his professional career as a Delivery Captain and Training Specialist for a well-known boating manufacturer in North Carolina.  Additionally, he is an Adjunct Professor of Maritime Licensing at Carteret Community College and holds a 100 ton Near Coastal Masters License.   Pete brings a considerable amount of experience and knowledge to the Crystal Coast Boating community, and is happy to be able to apply his vast skills in assisting his fellow mariners.  When not at work, him, his wife, and two boys spend their time at church, on the water or on the baseball and lacrosse fields.

Captain Bobby Schultz – Staff Captain

Captain Bobby has spent the majority of his life in and around the Crystal Coast of Carteret County.  He first learned to operate a vessel at a young age aboard his grandfather’s 1970s Bertram 27. Although spending a lot of his free time on the water, he still found time to pursue further education, being accepted to Appalachian State, then East Carolina University where he obtained a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems.  Putting his accomplishments to work, he started his own IT company and currently serves on the Morehead City Board of Adjustment.  Captain Bobby’s passion for the water and boats has continued to remain strong and allowed him to get his OUPV license in 2015.  He found Sea Tow Crystal Coast to be an outstanding avenue to apply his experience while assisting Sea Tow members and other boaters in the area.  When Captain Bobby is off the water, he enjoys a good round of golf and working on hiking the NC Mountains to Sea Trail.

Captain Phil Daley – Staff Captain

Captain Phil started his maritime life in 1967 on a sailing dory in Gloucester, Massachusetts.  This was the beginning of a seafarer’s life that would continue through to retirement.  Captain Phil’s professional career in North Carolina actually originated with Sea Tow Beaufort in 1994.  He continued to upgrade his license and accepted a job running fast crew boats in the Gulf of Mexico.  After a few years on 150 ft response vessels, he again increased his tonnage to captain 300 ft Dynamic Positioning Offshore Supply and Deep-Sea Construction Vessels.  Captain Phil retired from deep ocean operations in 2019 with a 1600/3000 ton Ocean Masters license accompanied by multiple endorsements on his credentials.  He came back to work with Sea Tow Crystal Coast and provides service to the Swansboro and Emerald Isle areas. 

Our Team

Captain Patrick Tormey – Staff Captain

Since retiring in March 2018 from an over 30-year career in software engineering and global sales leadership, he is following his 30-year passion for the water.  Captain Patrick currently holds a USCG license at the Master 100GRT level, a 100GRT Near Coastal Mate’s license, and a Commercial Towing Assistance endorsement.  Additionally, he is an instructor at Carteret Community College in Morehead City, where he gets the opportunity to teach the USCG approved course to new captains (OUPV).  He is also a certified Vessel Examiner for the USCG Auxiliary, helping people operate safely on the water. Captain Patrick provides safety examinations for both recreational vessels as well as for UPV (charter boat) vessels. The rules and regulations associated with boat operations are very important to him and he is always happy to share all he knows with you!  He spends all his available days during the week on the water helping boaters with Sea Tow Crystal Coast, but when he does take a day for himself, you can find him on his boat, the M/Y Hail Mary.  She is a 2006 Sterling Atlantic 45 that you may have seen around Beaufort, NC. This boat was built in Brazil and is a one of a kind here in the US. Her name came with her and he and his wife kept it as it is a symbol of hope (think "Hail Mary pass" and praying the Hail Mary...).

Captain Byron Shults – Staff Captain

Captain Byron Shults has grown up on the water. He has devoted all of his time towards learning and engaging with the ocean, specifically in the realm of fishing and duck hunting. He has spent a decade navigating the tricky and shallow waters of Bogue Sound and Beaufort Inlet into the Crystal Coast ocean range known as Onslow Bay. After graduating from East Carolina University with a degree in business management, he founded his own business in order to help others channel their inner passions and desires for fishing, hunting and exploration of the sea. He has had the pleasure of working under many notable captains on vessels as first mate, as well as serves as captain onboard his own private charter boat. He has achieved his 50 ton Near Coastal Masters License, and is PADI Advanced Open Water Certified. He recently acquired his MBA in the Outdoor industry, with Western Colorado University.  Captain Byron’s extensive local knowledge of the Crystal Coast area is immeasurable.  Sea Tow has gained a great asset in Byron with his abilities to respond to boats anywhere, from the ocean and sounds to the most remote areas of Carteret County. 

Gary Lazorick – Staff Captain

Captain Gary Lazorick has called the Crystal Coast home for the last 7 years. Gary is an extremely seasoned captain and diver. He is a dive instructor logging over 1000 open water dives and has captained several liveaboard dive vessels throughout the Caribbean Basin. Besides earning his master’s degree from NC State, Gary is also an expert skier, avid fisherman and enjoys kiteboarding and windsurfing. He is a member of the Morehead City Noon Rotary Club and lives with his two dogs Joline and jake.

Zack Ruffin – Staff Captain

Captain Zack Ruffin is a native of the Crystal Coast and avid salt water sportsman. He is a licensed operator of un-inspected passenger vessels and has multiple PADI advanced dive certifications. He has extensive underwater salvage experience conducting technical heavy lift operations. In his off time he can be found on the football field as a assistant coach at West Carteret High School.   

Tina Figueiredo - Dispatcher

Being born in Massachusetts, Tina was first introduced to the commercial maritime world as a young girl working on lobster boats with her father.     After high school, she was accepted and attended the New England School of Art and Design.   Having a love for warm weather and the ocean, she traveled to the Virgins Islands and later up to North Carolina’s Crystal Coast.     Having experienced a marine casualty of her own, involving her personal sailboat, she wanted to work in commercial assist towing and salvage.  She also pulled from her heritage, back to her great grandfather, who served his fellow mariners as a Life Boat Surfman on the Massachusetts shores.  Tina became the dispatcher and voice of Sea Tow Crystal Coast radio for the next 19 years.  After taking some time off to travel and be with her children, Tina is back with Sea Tow handling phone calls, and radio traffic.   She also takes a lot of pride in keeping a close eye on the location and safety of the captains she works with.

Our Boats

30’ Hysucat

Moored in the Beaufort area, the primary offshore response vessel is the 30’ Hysucat that is powered by twin 300 HP Yamaha outboards.  This unique boat is a hydrofoil catamaran that is capable of speeds in excess of 50 knots, and has a range of 70 NM offshore.  This boat has 2 gasoline tanks.  This vessel is outfitted with modern electronics including a GPS, radio direction finder, autopilot, Garmin inReach, a 2” gas dewatering pump, and an electronic dewatering pump. 

26’ Twin Vee

Sea Tow Crystal Coast has (3) 26’ primary response boats currently moored in Swansboro and  Atlantic Beach.  A boat will be moored in the New Bern area in the near future.  All of these boats are powered by twin 150 HP Suzuki outboard engines that provide plenty of pulling power.  The boats are outfitted with 2” gas dewatering pumps, electric dewatering pumps and modern electronics. 

22’ Twin Vee

The Twin engine 22’ Twin Vee remains on the trailer for faster response times for jobs that come in up the rivers and in shallower water.  This boat is powered by twin 140 HP Suzuki outboard.  The 22’ is outfitted with modern electronics, a 2’ gas dewatering pump and an electric dewatering pump.

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Sea Tow Captains work hard to do more than save you on the water - they work hard to save you money as well!