Captains honored for actions during boat fire

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CAPE MAY – Sea Tow Services International Inc., the nation’s leading on-water assistance provider, honored Captain Scott Neeld and Captain and owner Jack Moran of Sea Tow Cape May with citations for “Efforts Above and Beyond” the call of duty during the Sea Tow Awards Banquet on Nov. 14.

The event capped the 2012 Sea Tow Annual Meeting held in Orlando, Fla.

Sea Tow citations for “Efforts Above and Beyond” are presented to members of the Sea Tow network whom, while on or off-duty, participated in an event or incident, including a rescue or community program, that brings great credit to the Sea Tow franchise and Network.

Captain Richard M. Kenin, Chief of Staff, Seventh Coast Guard District (Fla.), and Captain Peter F. Martin, Chief of Search and Rescue (CG-SAR) for the U.S. Coast Guard, joined Sea Tow Services International in honoring Capt. Neeld and Capt. Moran with the awards. The Sea Tow Cape May captains could not attend the ceremony in person because they were involved with Hurricane Sandy cleanup efforts in their area.

At about 11:30 a.m. on July 1, Capt. Moran overheard a distress call saying that a 20-foot center console fishing boat with two people aboard had exploded and was on fire in Avalon Marina. Capt. Moran immediately notified Capt. Neeld, who lives onboard a trawler four slips away from the fuel dock and had a Sea Tow boat docked not far from the incident.

Neeld sprang into action. After seeing that two boat passengers suffering from burn injuries had made it off the burning boat and were being treated, Neeld worked closely with the marina manager to free the burning boat from its anchor line and move it away from the dock.

Neeld towed the burning vessel to a sandbar about 500 feet away. With 5- to10-knot SSE winds blowing, the boat could not be cut free to drift away on its own, as it would have blown back into the docks further endangering people and potentially causing significant damage to the marina and docked boats, as well as causing major pollution.

Once Neeld brought the burning boat to the sandbar, he fought the fire and contained it until the Avalon Fire Department arrived on scene to fight the blaze. The department extinguished the fire and left.

Moran arrived on scene to assist Neeld in prepping the boat for relocation back to the Avalon Marina. However, the fire restarted and both Neeld and Moran worked to put it out. The fire department returned and remained until Neeld and Moran were able to bag the boat and tow it to the marine center.

“Capt. Scott Neeld and Capt. Jack Moran are commended for outstanding performance of duty, going above and beyond, and bringing great credit to Sea Tow and the marine assistance industry,” said Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer, Sea Tow Founder and CEO.

For more information about Sea Tow Cape May, call 263-2222 or visit 


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