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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 Christian Gillikin Operations Manager

Christian’s roots go back many generations in Carteret County’s Crystal Coast. Having great grandparents actually born on Core Banks, the waterman tradition continued down through his father who became an Unlimited Licensed Chief Marine Engineer with NOAA’s Research and Survey Vessel Fleet.  Having been on a boat from birth, Christian found his career calling within law enforcement tactical boat operations, retiring from Henrico Division of Police, Marine Patrol Unit, as the Senior Coxswain in 2015.  Upon retiring, he moved back to the family’s beginnings in Carteret County’s famous Downeast area and began working with the North Carolina Ferry Division.  After several years as part of the deck crew and operating larger tonnage vessels, Christian upgraded his license to a 200 ton Near Coastal Master and (AB) Able Bodied Seaman. He accepted the Operations Manager role at Sea Tow Crystal Coast with enthusiasm, looking forward to working with the captains and other staff to serve the boating community in Carteret County. Captain Christian’s favorite activity is spending time at Cape Lookout with his wife and black lab JD. 

Captain Pete Koltun

Captain Pete has been on the water his entire life and began his military career with the United States Coast Guard at 17 and retired with 21 years of service.Serving at Station Oregon Inlet and Group Cape Hatteras from there he was transferred to USCG Sector North Carolina as the Ready Operations Team Leader, on to Cutter Duty on the West Coast, then finishing out his military career in Miami Florida as the Waterside Division Officer 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 and the Outer Banks.  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. Captain Pete brings a considerable amount of experience and knowledge to the Crystal Coast Boating community, and is excited about being 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, baseball and lacrosse fields.

Captain Tim Hawkins 

Tim grew up on the waters of the Alabama Gulf Coast. With an early love of the ocean, he began his career in watersports at age 12 when he began scuba diving and working in the local dive shop after school. After high school, he obtained his Scuba Instructors License and moved to the Caribbean. In 2001 he completed his obtained his 100 Ton Masters License. He then set off for the South Pacific, Australia and eventually Papua New Guinea where he traveled the seas on a 130’ liveaboard dive boat for a couple of years. After returning stateside, Tim settled on the Big Island of Hawaii spending the next 15 years as a captain for snorkeling, diving, fishing and whale watching boats. He also received his business degree from the University of Hawaii. Through the years, he learned all aspects of vessel maintenance, refit, and repair including a deep understanding of the passenger vessel certification requirements by the USCG. Working after hours and on weekends he and a friend began a business repairing boats. Over the next several years, they built the business into a successful boat repair and storage facility. Ready for a change, he gave his partner his half of the business and moved with his wife and young son to Beaufort, North Carolina.  Since arriving Tim has become a licensed Independent Insurance Adjuster, an ABYC Certified Member, and has also completed the Small Boat and Yacht Marine Surveyor program at the Chapman’s School of Seamanship while also working with Sea tow Crystal Coast.   

Captain Bobby Schultz

Captain Bobby’s roots on the North Carolina coast and Carteret County span his entire life. At a young age, Bobby spent weekends and summers aboard his parent’s and grandparent’s boats right here in Atlantic Beach. Bobby has a Master of Business Administration degree from East Carolina University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information Systems from Appalachian State University, and multiple industry certifications in information security and computer networking. Bobby has owned and operated a web services and IT company since 2014. He serves on the Morehead City Board of Adjustment and is active in the Chamber of Commerce and other organizations. Captain Bobby has held an OUPV License with a Commercial Assistance Towing Endorsement since 2015. Bobby brings a wealth of local knowledge to the team and enjoys assisting fellow boaters on the same waters in which he has spent his life.

Our Team

Captain Phil Daley

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. Great to have Phil and his vast experience back with Sea Tow!

Captain Patrick Tormey

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

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 serve 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 is currently pursuing an 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.  

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.

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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!