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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

Capt. Rick Ellett was born December 3, 1952, in Roanoke, Va. Rick graduated Augusta Military Academy and served in the U. S. 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, 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 before the lake filled up. He holds a current 50 ton U. S. Coast Guard Masters License with towing endorsement.

Rick stands ready 24/7/365. He lives in the Gills Creek section of Smith Mountain Lake 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, SML Boating Association, the Smith Mountain Lake Association, the Smith Mountain Lake Striper Club, the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce, and the Smith Mountain Lake Sail and Power Squadron.

Nancy Ellett - Owner/Captain

Capt. Nancy Ellett was 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 three grandchildren.

Nancy holds a current 50 ton U. S. 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 Lake Christian Ministries Christmas toy collection, fitting kids with life jackets at Wake the World, 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, or under the Sea Tow tent at one of the local marinas serving free hot dogs or yellow watermelon. She has been with Sea Tow since its arrival on SML in 2009. .

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 Wilmington, Delaware. He also worked for 2 ½ years as advertising manager at Trojan Yacht Co. in Lancaster, Pa. He served 3 years in the U. S. 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 of the upper Chesapeake and, later, during 17 summer vacations at Smith Mountain Lake 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, celebrated 48 years of marriage in 2016. He has been a member of the SML Water Safety Council for several 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. He joined the Sea Tow team in 2013.

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 as well as his best Mate out on the water. 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 joined the Sea Tow team in 2015.

Barry Bridges - Captain

Captain Barry Bridges was born in Michigan and has been “on the water” since he was 10 years old. From a base on Lake St Clair he would travel to the Detroit river and on to Lake Erie and sometimes up the St Clair river. While living in Raleigh North Carolina he traveled to and boated on Falls Lake, Lake Norman, Buggs Island, Lake Lanier, and the Florida inter-coastal as well as many trips to Smith Mountain Lake. After a career in the electronics industry, he and his wife, Marilynn, moved to Smith Mountain Lake. They have owned Weichert Realtors Bridges & Co., for the last 15 years where he is Principal Broker and Marilynn is the Business and Relocation manager.When Barry is not selling real estate you will find him on the water more often than not. Captain Barry is a USCG licensed captain with a Masters rating and a towing endorsement. He joined the Sea Tow team in 2016.

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, his own 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 SeaTow you’ll find him at home working on his Honey Do list. Steve and his wife Nancy reside on Smith Mountain Lake near Indian Point on the Roanoke side of the lake. Steve joined the Sea Tow team in 2014.

Dave Sult - Captain

Capt. Dave Sult was born in Charleston, WV, and raised in Fayette County on the Kanawha River. He started boating on the Kanawha and on Summersville Lake in the late 60’s. His dad worked for APCO so the family started coming to Smith Mountain Lake in 1968. They moved to Vinton in 1971 and had a camper and a boat at Folly Rec. Land.

Dave graduated from William Byrd and VWCC and worked as a computer programmer for several companies in Roanoke, Lynchburg, and Lexington. He enlisted in the Navy at 29 years old and spent 8 years as a Navigation Electronics Technician. He served aboard the Henry L. Stimson, a Fleet Ballistic Missile submarine based in Kings, Bay, GA. He was also assigned to the FBM Navigation Test Unit aboard the USS Vanguard out of Port Canaveral Florida where he tested inertial navigation systems for Trident submarines. He also helped Rockwell test the Global Positioning System and served as an instructor at the Guided Missiles School at Dam Neck, Va. He completed a BS from Excelsior and an MS from Troy State while on active duty. He returned to Roanoke in 1993 and joined American Express in the financial services business. He joined the Army Reserves and was deployed to Iraq in 2004. He retired from the Reserves with 21 years of service. He more recently retired from BB&T in 2015, and bought a truck and lease on Lawrence Transportation. Dave has traveled to 47 states and says he still needs to go to Alaska, Hawaii and North Dakota.

Dave and his Wife, Melanie, have a condo at Bayside Marina on Smith Mountain Lake. When he is not on the road, you will find him on the water either in his personal boat or as Captain aboard one of the Sea Tow Vessels. He joined the Sea Tow team in 2016.

Randy Stow - Captain

Capt. Randy Stow grew up in Atlanta Georgia, joined the Florida State University Track Team on a scholarship and graduated in 1971 with a BS in Engineering Science. He joined the U S Navy in 1971, and was commissioned as an Ensign in 1972. As an Unrestricted Line Officer he served on board the attack transport USS Francis Marion in both the engineering and operations departments. His last duty station was Beachmaster Unit 2 at Little Creek, Va. Serving as Operations Officer. Upon his release from the Navy in 1976 he joined the Caterpillar Tractor Company.

Randy joined the U S Power Squadron in 2007 and became a certified boating instructor for both the Power Squadron and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. He moved to Smith Mountain Lake in 2008 and from 2010 to 2013 he served as Chairman of the SML Water Safety Council and also as the Commander of the SML Sail & Power Squadron. He is currently on the boards of the SML Association, the Upper Roanoke River Roundtable, and the Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission, and he also served as Commander of the U S Power Squadrons’ District 5. He continues to provide vessel inspections and instruction in both the classroom and on the water.

Randy and his wife, Judy, live on the Gills Creek part of the lake. They enjoy lake and coastal boating by power, sail, or paddle. Randy was the recipient of a Sea Tow Golden Life Jacket Award in 2013, and we were happy to have him join the Sea Tow team in 2016.

Gary Fisher - Captain

Born April 13, 1951 in Harrisburg, PA, served in the U.S. Army and was trained as a Chauffeur where he served 1 year in Washington D.C. at the Pentagon chauffeuring high ranking officials and dignitaries after which he served 1 year as the Chauffeur for the J-3 of the United Nations Command in Seoul Korea and then another 1 year in Washington D.C. as a Chauffeur assigned to the White House as personal Chauffer to the Deputy Commander in charge of President Richard M. Nixon’s re-inauguration.

Gary is retired from Snap-on Tools where he began employment in 1976 working his way up to Field Manager, Sales Manager, Branch Manager, National Recruiter, Eastern Regional Training Manager and Director of Training for Snap-on Credit covering the U. S., Canada, Australia, and United Kingdom.

Gary has been an accomplished boater since 1974. He holds a current 100 Ton U. S. Coast Guard Masters License with Towing endorsement. Gary is also a member of the local Power Squadron, and is certified by the DGIF to teach boater safety classes with the Power Squadron.  He lives on Smith Mountain Lake with his wife Lynn and is a Captain for the Virginia Dare and a Captain for Sea Tow. He joined the Sea Tow team in 2009.

Phil Witmer - Captain

Captain Phillip Witmer was 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 local “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 Kroger, a part-time captain for Sea Tow, and goes fishing every chance he gets. Capt. Phil joined the Sea Tow team in 2014.


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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After Irma: Sea Tow Key Largo Shares Experience

Steve and Cheryl Powers, husband-and-wife team and owners of Sea Tow Key Largo, felt the wrath of Hurricane Irma firsthand. The massive Category 4 hurricane seemed to know the family’s every move as it targeted the Keys and the entire state of Florida. 

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Captain Ward and Sea Tow South Mississippi Make Members for Life

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.

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Sea Tow is Social

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  • Weather & Tides

  • Cape Carlyn, VA

Current Conditions

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Barometric Pressure:
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2 AM
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55° 0%
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52° 4%

Tide Data

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11:50 AM
10:05 PM
8% Illuminated
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