Please select your home edition
Pantaenius FBW Comprehensive 728x90

New TowBoatUS LaBelle Port opens to assist boaters on Okeechobee Waterway

by Scott Croft 11 May 15:16 UTC
Capt. Mike Ammons aboard his 24-hour boat towing and response vessel © Scott Croft

Most boats crossing the state of Florida on the Okeechobee Waterway are transient, only trying to get from one coast to the other as quickly as possible. That means their captains may not have local knowledge, and if they need assistance for an unexpected grounding or engine problem, the newly opened 24-hour on-water towing and assistance service for recreational boaters, TowBoatUS LaBelle, is ready to help.

It's the fourth TowBoatUS port servicing the 134.3-nautical-mile waterway, which includes bookend locations in Stuart and Fort Myers, and in Okeechobee. TowBoatUS is the only national, 24-hour on-water service delivering professional assistance on the waterway from end-to-end, providing boaters with routine help with dead batteries, soft ungroundings, running out of fuel, or a tow back to the launch ramp or marina.

TowBoatUS LaBelle is the second location for Capt. Mike Ammons, who opened TowBoatUS Lake Okeechobee in 2018. Prior to that, Ammons owned three TowBoatUS ports in the early 2000s. Today, TowBoatUS has over 300 locations and 600 towing response vessels across the country.

Much like an auto club, BoatUS offers on-water Unlimited Towing Memberships for boaters and anglers for just $159 per year. Boaters without BoatUS towing services face costs that average $750 per towing incident, with some paying thousands out of pocket.

TowBoatUS LaBelle and TowBoatUS Okeechobee offer extended service areas, including Lake Okeechobee in its entirety and the Caloosahatchee River. St. Lucie Canal service is provided by TowBoatUS Stuart.

TowBoatUS LaBelle operates a 22-foot power cat response vessel with twin outboards, easily recognizable by its red hull and TowBoatUS logos emblazoned in bright white letters on its sides, rigged and ready for towing, jump starts, fuel delivery and soft ungroundings.

Boaters can reach TowBoatUS LaBelle by hailing on VHF channel 16, by calling the company directly at (239) 600-0140, by phoning the BoatUS toll-free 24/7 Dispatch Center at (800) 391-4869, or via smartphone using the BoatUS App.

More information can be found at, or call (800) 888-4869.

Related Articles

Who else wants money to improve boating in the US?
Help your floating community be safe and clean Begun over 25 years ago and one of the longest-running boating community grant programs, the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water Grassroots Grant program provides local groups up to $10,000 to help educate boaters. Posted on 3 Jun
Affordable 3-hour on-water training courses
Intro to Boating and Women Making Waves offered on Lake Norman The nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water together with Freedom Boat Club Lake Norman offer a choice of two fun on-water boat training courses taught aboard single-engine powerboats: Intro to Boating and Women Making Waves. Posted on 1 Jun
Boaters aren't the only ones getting heavier
BoatUS says be careful when repowering One year ago the U.S. Coast Guard required new recreational boats to have more floatation to support the increased weight of newer four-stroke outboards if the boat becomes swamped. Posted on 31 May
6 ways boaters can be green this summer
All across America boating season has begun. With some help from the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water, here are six ways boaters can help keep waters clean and be good environmental stewards all summer long. Posted on 29 May
BoatUS releases annual list of Top 10 Boat Names
The tradition dates back a quarter century Each year, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) tallies the most popular boat names. The tradition dates back a quarter century, with the list derived from adding up requests for boat name designs from BoatUS Boat Graphics. Posted on 24 May
BoatUS checklist: How to rent your boat
Know your liabilities, and plan for breakdowns Airbnb has shown that the sharing economy can work. A new report says, in 2018, the peer-to-peer rental company's annual sales surpassed Hilton, based on data from U.S. travelers (excluding business spending). Posted on 22 May
Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1
4 tips to ready your boat When a hurricane approaches, recreational boat owners have a big problem. Faced with limited time to protect their homes, and with families to possibly evacuate, what can they do to prepare their boats? Posted on 21 May
Most practical boating safety advice this year
Three timely tips for National Safe Boating Week Wearing a life jacket, avoiding alcohol, and taking a boating safety course tops the list of things you can do now to improve your chances of a long, safe summer of boating. Posted on 14 May
Want to learn how to boat?
Intro to boating and women making waves offered on Lake Michigan Want to learn the basics of powerboating or brush up on your skills? The nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water together with Freedom Boat Club Chicago offer a choice of two fun on-water boat training courses Posted on 11 May
TowBoatus Crisfield, Maryland, opens
TowBoatUS Crisfield provides 24-hour assistance for boats with routine breakdowns Visitors to Crisfield, Maryland, soon learn that The Old Line State's southernmost town has long tied its fortunes to Chesapeake Bay – much of the town was built atop discarded oyster shells. Posted on 10 May
Nanni Diesel 2019 FooterRaymarine AUS Lighthouse 3 Annapolis 3.9 - BOTTOMMarina Exchange FOOTER 1