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Sea Tow Smith Mountain Lake

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My Local Sea Tow

My Local Sea Tow Captain

Capts. Rick & Nancy Ellett
Captain Howie Kaplan
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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

Rick Ellett - Owner/Captain
Born December 3, 1952, in Roanoke, VA, Rick graduated Augusta Military Academy and served in the US Army. Rick worked in landscaping and then as an independent contractor for FedEx Ground until 2009, when he decided to embark upon a new venture as owner/operator of Sea Tow Smith Mountain Lake, where his office is out on the water. Rick grew up in the area and has been on Smith Mountain Lake since the lake filled up. He holds a current 50 ton US Coast Guard Masters License with towing endorsement. Rick stands ready 24/7, 365, in the Gills creek section of Smith Mountain Lake where he lives with his wife Nancy, who is also a Sea Tow Captain. Rick is a member of the Water Safety council, the Smith Mountain Marine Business Association, the SML Power Boat Association, the Smith Mountain Lake Association, the SML Striper Club, the SML Chamber of Commerce, and the SML Sail and Power Squadron.

Nancy Ellett - Owner/Captain
Born June 24, 1952, Nancy grew up in Craig County and moved to the lake with Rick in 1997. Nancy has worked in the legal field as a paralegal for almost 25 years, currently working for attorney Michelle Derrico in Roanoke. She has two grown children, Chris and Amy, and is looking forward to her first grandchild from her son, Chris. Daughter, Amy, is often seen working with Sea Tow at various events. Nancy holds a current 50 ton US Coast Guard Masters License with towing endorsement and works for Sea Tow when she is not at her week-day job. Nancy is constantly busy with the marketing of Sea Tow and especially loves helping collect a boat load of toys for the Smith Mountain Lake Flotilla and organizing activities to encourage the use of life jackets. Even though she works a full-time job, she is always seen out on the Sea Tow boats on weekends with her mate, Capt. Rick.

Jerry Hale - Captain
Born in 1944, Jerry is the youngest "old guy" you'll ever meet. He wakeboards, slalom skis, plays tennis, banjo and guitar, does all his own yard work and has the energy level of a much younger dude.He graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in journalism/advertising and later earned an MBA from the University of Delaware. He had a 35-year career as an advertising manager and marketing consultant for the DuPont Co in Wilminton, Delaware. He also worked for 2 1/2 years as an advertising manager at Trojan Yacht Co. in Lancaster, PA. He served 3 years in the US Army, including a year in Viet Nam, and left the military as 1st Lieutenant with a Bronze Star award. Jerry's boating interest began with family lake vacations in Minnesota when he was 6 years old. After moving to Delaware, he and his wife, Ferne, boated and skied on rivers before retiring and moving to a lake home in 2003. He is a free-lance writer who contributes extensively to Laker Magazine and several area newspapers. He is a committed Laker who lives the Lake Lifestyle to the fullest, year round. Jerry serves on the Parish Council at Trinity Ecumenical Parish in Moneta. He and his wife, Ferne, celebrate 47 years of marriage in 2015; they have two children and three grandchildren. He has been a member of the SML Water Safety Council for 8 years and is the instigator and organizer of the Lake's "No-Wake Fireworks" tradition. He enjoys sharing his boating experience with others and looks forward to assisting stranded boaters when the need arises. 

Steve Fitzgerald - Captain
Born in 1956 in Waynesboro, VA his eagerness to help people has followed him throughout his life. He started out at the age of 15 as a member of the Waynesboro First Aid Crew for 14yrs; he’s now a Life Member. There he became a NAUI Certified Scuba Diver. His love of water and fishing brought him to the lake where he’s the Captain of  Rodbender Striper Guide Service, a fishing charter business on SML. He’s been guiding for 20yrs. He’s a Licensed USCG Captain with a Towing Endorsement. Most recently he retired at the ripe young age of 58 after working for 27yrs for MillerCoors Brewing Company. So if he’s not fishing or helping with Sea Tow you’ll find him at home working on his Honey Do list. Steve and his wife Nancy reside at SML. They have 2 children and 7 grandchildren. 

Phil Witmer - Captain
Born in 1969 in Roanoke Virginia, Capt. Phil attended Cave Spring Elementary, Cave Spring Junior High, and Cave Spring High School and then served in the Navy from 1990 through 1995. After getting out of the Navy Phil attended college and received a Doctorate in Pharmacy. He started fishing at a very young age and has always been very passionate about fishing. He obtained his Captain’s License in 2002 and started Virginia Outdoorsman Guide Service where he guided on Smith Mountain Lake, Kerr, Gaston, Potomac and Nags Head. He has three wonderful children, Lauren, Jonathan, and Brody. He is married to the “Tow Bee”, Amy Rose Witmer, who he met through Sea Tow. Capt Phil and family lives in the Mariner’s Landing development of Huddleston, Virginia, on Smith Mountain Lake, is a full-time pharmacist for CVS, a part-time captain for Sea Tow, and goes fishing every chance he gets.

Donald "Lee" Adkins - Captain
Captain Donald “Lee” Adkins bought his first boat at the age of 16 and has loved boating ever since.  After navigating many miles on various trips from Virginia to Florida and the Gulf ICW to New Orleans, along with his wife, Denise, he decided to get his Captain’s license.  Lee was one of the students in the first Captains Class offered here by Sea School at Smith Mountain Lake in 2015.  He and his wife, Denise, live in Roanoke and have a place at Smith Mountain Lake on Gills Creek.  Capt. Lee is employed by Verizon Communications in Roanoke and by Sea Tow Smith Mountain Lake.  His wife, Denise, is a registered nurse at Carilion in Roanoke.  They love spending weekends at the lake or on their boat in Surf City, North Carolina, and also enjoy riding their motorcycle and traveling anywhere!  Capt. Lee says he looks forward to serving Smith Mountain Lake boaters in his new endeavor as a Sea Tow Captain.


Our Boats

Steadfast - 21' Triumph

We have a 21' Triumph with a 200 HP Suzuki. Located at Gills Creek.



Scrambler - 21' Triumph

Scrambler is a 21 foot Triumph with a 175 Suzuki motor. Located at Indian Point Marina.



Crazy Horse Marina

Sea Tow members save at .07¢ per gallon on fuel at Crazy Horse Marina located at 400 Crazy Horse Dr, Moneta, VA. *Must pay inside marina store.

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Bay Roc Marina

Sea Tow members save .07¢ per gallon on fuel and receive a 10% discount on boating and trailer accessories at Bay Roc Marina, located at 8360 Hardy Rd, Hardy, VA.

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Local Deals

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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!


News & Events

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Wake Surfing 101

Answers To All Your Questions Read More »

Sea Scouts Practice Volunteerism With The Sea Tow Foundation

Boy Scouts, but on the water. It does exist and they recently partnered with the Sea Tow Foundation.


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  • Weather & Tides

  • Cape Carlyn, VA

Current Conditions

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Wind Speed:
3.2 W MPH
Gust Speed:
Barometric Pressure:
Image description 30.24
7 PM
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46° 0%
8 PM
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45° 0%
9 PM
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43° 0%
10 PM
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39° 0%
11 PM
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37° 0%
12 AM
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36° 0%

Tide Data

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6:56 AM
6:26 PM
8% Illuminated
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