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My Experience “Getting Rescued” by TowBoatUS Cape Cod/Plymouth

Ryan Collins

Last summer I was fishing at night with my dad Jake, when my boat's throttle cable suddenly parted. I could move the boat in reverse, but it was impossible to motor forward.

The idea of motoring in reverse, all the way home through Cape Cod Bay, and into the East End of the Cape Cod Canal, was simply not going to happen.

It was still dark with about an hour to go before false dawn when I called captain Shawn Brule of TowBoatUS Cape Cod/Plymouth. To my surprise Shawn was already up and wide awake!


TowBoat was living up to their promise of 24/7 service. I told Shawn to take his time and not rush, as late summer sea conditions on Cape Cod Bay were picture perfect. Nevertheless, Shawn arrived on scene just a few minutes after sunrise. 

I waved goodbye to my friends who were fishing in another boat nearby, and readied myself for all the looks I expected to receive from the other curious boaters and anglers fishing nearby. 😳

Getting towed in may be slightly embarrassing, but I certainly feel much safer having Shawn or another captain from TowBoatUS Cape Cod/Plymouth running the show.

I have performed my own tows on broken down boaters, and I have also been towed back to port by my friends. Fortunately all those tows went for the most part, smoothly. However it does not take much for a tow to turn ugly (especially in inclement weather) so whenever possible I like to call in the pros. 

If you are unfamiliar with how TowBoatUS works, then I recommend watching the video below. I recorded my entire experience getting towed back to port by captain Shawn, so this video will give you a great idea of what to expect should you find yourself in a similar situation. 

Please click play below to watch! 👇


  • 00:40 - captain Shawn arrives on-scene
  • 02:00 - beginning the tow back to the canal
  • 02:28 - communicating over the VHF
  • 04:47 - entering the Cape Cod Canal
  • 07:13 - coming up alongside TowBoat for entry into Sandwich Marina
  • 10:50 - safely back at the dock!

For more information about TowBoatUS Cape Cod/Plymouth and their services, please visit their website.

What do you think?

Let me know by commenting below.

  1. Yesterday mid day on Billingsgate our cotter pin departed, followed by the castle nut, prop and remaining hardware. We were trolling, stopped for a fish and refreshment, started back up and it wouldn’t go into gear just free rev’ed. I took the engine cover off to check linkage and out of the corner of my eye noticed something important missing!

    We just drifted for an hour or so while waiting for Noah from TowBoat USA to drag us back to Sesuit. We had a box full of macks and never stopped catching fish as we drifted across the Billingsgate without a prop! 30 min tow back to harbor from Noah was a breeze we even talked a bit of fishing and he showed us a video of a GW eating a seal and taking a chomp on the side of his house boat that morning once we were at the dock.

    Like you said embarrassing, sure, but stuff like this happens and they provide a great service thats WELL worth the expense.


    1. Awesome story Mike and thanks for sharing. I think Noah towed me back a couple years ago. Glad you had a good experience and that is incredible to hear about the GW shark at Noah’s house boat!


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