06/15/15 5:58am
06/15/2015 5:58 AM
Michael Wesolowski. (Credit: Sea Tow)

Michael Wesolowski. (Credit: Sea Tow)

As the new executive director of the Sea Tow Foundation, which promotes safe boating practices,  Michael Wesolowski has his sights set on creating an improved website for users.

Mr. Wesolowski was recently hired as executive director for the foundation, which was formed in 2007 by Sea Tow founder Joseph Frohnhoefer(more…)

11/22/14 4:00pm
11/22/2014 4:00 PM
Patrick O’Halloran (left) and Garrett Moore met for the first time Tuesday evening in the Mitchell Park marina, hours after a joint effort to rescue six boaters and bring an out-of-control cigarette boat to a halt in the waters of Greenport Harbor. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

Garrett Moore (right), pictured with Patrick O’Halloran in September, received one of 12 awards from Sea Town Services International for lifesaving efforts for his role in rescuing six boaters and bringing an out-of-control cigarette boat to a halt in the waters of Greenport Harbor. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

Sea Tow Services International presented 12 awards for lifesaving efforts and “for efforts above and beyond” the call of duty at a Nov. 18 awards banquet in West Palm Beach, Fla.  (more…)

09/18/14 8:30am
09/18/2014 8:30 AM
Patrick O’Halloran (left) and Garrett Moore met for the first time Tuesday evening in the Mitchell Park marina, hours after a joint effort to rescue six boaters and bring an out-of-control cigarette boat to a halt in the waters of Greenport Harbor. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

Patrick O’Halloran (left) and Garrett Moore met for the first time Tuesday evening in the Mitchell Park marina, hours after a joint effort to rescue six boaters and bring an out-of-control cigarette boat to a halt in the waters of Greenport Harbor. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

No, a scene from a dramatic action movie wasn’t being filmed in Greenport Harbor on Monday. What happened was this: After six people were flung from a speeding powerboat that had turned sideways, two strangers who live on opposite sides of the bay played integral roles in rescuing the victims and ensuring safety in the harbor by bringing the runaway boat to a halt.  (more…)

12/02/13 9:00am
12/02/2013 9:00 AM

FILE PHOTO | Southold officials are considering amending the town code on cell phone towers.

With two applications for cell phone towers currently before the Southold Town building department, town officials are considering making amendments to the town code regarding the placement and construction of transmission towers.

The first application, filed Nov. 8 by AT&T, proposes constructing a 100-foot cell phone tower on the vacant lot behind Town Hall on Travelers Street. In addition to the tower, the application also calls for the construction of a small equipment storage shed on the site. The grand total for the project is approximately $125,000, according to the application.

The Town is currently in the process of drawing up a lease agreement for the property with the major wireless provider, Supervisor Scott Russell said Tuesday.

“AT&T approached us about a location for a cell phone tower; they are very much looking to get one in Southold,” Mr. Russell said. “They were originally looking to locate it on a private piece of land, but if it was constructed on Town land it would be an additional revenue source for us.”

With traditional revenue sources, such as real estate taxes, for the Town drying up, Mr. Russell said the project could create a new source of funding that would in return benefit taxpayers.

The revenue would come primarily from leasing the land, he said.  While there is a signed agreement between the two parties, because they are still in leaseholder discussions Mr. Russell could not immediately provide estimates on the total revenues for the town, he said.

Although it would be located on town-owned land, AT&T would need to receive variances from the Zoning Board of Appeals and a special exemption from the Planning Board in order to move forward, Mr. Russell said. The current town code does not permit the construction of cell towers in historic districts outside of buildings. The reasoning was to obscure large towers from public view, Mr. Russell said.  However, the town is considering making small changes to the code, as more and more town property is becoming a part of the historic corridor, he said.

“There is a push to create more historic districts and for the most part many fire departments would be located in these historic corridors; so we are looking to make the code not be an encumbrance to fire departments that need to put these towers up for communication,” Mr. Russell said.

Meanwhile, a quarter mile away from Town Hall on Youngs Avenue in Southold, Sea Tow is also proposing to build a cell phone/emergency transmission tower on its property.

The application called for the construction of a $300,000, 190-foot tower, which applicant and Sea Tow Captain Joe Frohnhoefer said would help bridge the gap in for emergency communication in Southold Town.

“Our communications out here are stunned at this point,” Mr. McLaughlin said. “The tower down at the police station is 140-feet, but if anything ever happens to that, there is no back-up. With this we are talking incredible coverage in Southold between the fire departments and the police.”

Mr. Frohnhoefer said the height of the proposed cell tower is advantageous for Southold Town and would improve transmissions to Fishers Island, Plum Island, Shelter Island and even as far as New York City.

“We’re in a position to get a straight line shot to these places,” he said. “All of Southold could be a wireless hot spot.”

The United States Department of Homeland Security, Coast Guard, Verizon, Sprint and AT&T have all expressed interest in using Sea Tow’s cell tower, should it be constructed, Mr.Frohnhoefer said.

The Town would also receive tax revenue from the carrier that uses the tower, Mr. Frohnhoefer pointed out.

The building department denied the initial application, filed earlier this month, because the height of the tower exceeds the limits established by the town code. Sea Tow is now seeking the necessary ZBA variances and a special exemption from the Planning Board, Mr. Frohnhoefer said.

“Where we are nobody will see it that much,” he said. “It won’t affect any houses because it will be behind trees. I think the Planning Board will understand the need for this project.”

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01/26/13 5:00pm
01/26/2013 5:00 PM
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Roy Morrow, center, with Sea Tow International founders Captain Joe and Georgia Frohnhoefer.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON FILE PHOTO | Roy Morrow, center, with Sea Tow International founders Captain Joe and Georgia Frohnhoefer.

Captain Joe Frohnhoefer of Sea Tow Services International was honored with the Compass Rose Award, an industry accolade which he said points to Sea Tow’s influence in the marine assistance industry.

Mr. Frohnhoefer, CEO and founder of Southold’s own worldwide marine rescue company, was presented the award Jan. 14 at the annual meeting of the Conference of Professional Operators for Response Towing.

“That group is made up of all of our peers such as BoatUS and other independent towers, so it was really nice to receive the award,” Mr. Frohnhoefer said.

“A compass rose shows true direction,” said Tina Cardone, executive director of C-PORT, a trade association for the marine assistance industry.  “This award is presented to someone who is dedicated to making the marine assistance industry better through their hard work and desire to make boating an enjoyable experience for everyone they meet.”

Sea Tow turns 30 years old in September, Mr. Frohnhoefer said.

“We don’t know what events we’ll be having yet between visiting boat shows and everything that’s on our plate right now, but there will be events,” he said of Sea Tow’s anniversary celebrations.

In addition to celebrating three decades of growth as a marine rescue and assistance company, Mr. Frohnhoefer was also recently asked to join the board of directors at the Association for Rescue at Sea, a Washington D.C. based group that works directly with the Coast Guard.

AFRAS is made of important marine industry and government representatives, such as congressmen and former vice commandants, who are the second highest officers in the Coast Guard.

For more coverage of Sea Tow’s 30th anniversary, pick up a copy of next week’s Suffolk Times.

10/06/12 10:00am
10/06/2012 10:00 AM

SONJA REINHOLT DERR FILE PHOTO | A boater safety bill approved by the Suffolk Legislature aims at reducing on-the-water mishaps, such as when the driver of this powerboat ran up on the Greenport Harbor jetty two summers ago.

Legislation aimed at making Suffolk County waters safer will likely be signed by County Executive Steve Bellone next week, a spokeswoman for Mr. Bellone said Wednesday.

But some local businessmen are hoping Mr. Bellone will reconsider, saying the boater safety bill needs to be rewritten to avoid harming the regional marine industry.

The proposed law, which county legislators passed unanimously on Sept. 13, would require all Suffolk residents to pass an approved boater’s safety course before operating some pleasure boats in Suffolk waters. The law would not apply to rowboats, canoes or kayaks.

“At this point in time it is our intention to sign the legislation,” said the spokeswoman, Vanessa Baird-Streeter, adding there could be a public signing of the legislation late next week. “We want to ensure that Suffolk County waters are safe and that those who are boating understand boating safety. The boating safety certificate for Suffolk County residents will only help to ensure safe travel on our waterways.”

But Captain Joe Frohnhoefer, owner of Southold-based Sea Tow International, which offers towing and other services for boaters in distress, said he worries that the bill could hurt the marine industry and the sale of boats and would be impossible to enforce in such a short time.

“Education is important, but you’re looking at 18 months to train thousands of people and the state doesn’t have the time or the money to get the personnel and materials to do that,” Mr. Frohnhoefer said. He added that he knows several people interested in filing legal challenges if the measure is enacted.

“The bill is kind of discriminatory as it only requires Suffolk County residents to apply for certification, though boaters from Maine, Florida and other states also boat in Suffolk County waters in the summer,” he said.

Alex Galasso, the owner of Larry’s Lighthouse Marina in Aquebogue, said the law is a “bit vague.” He agrees with Captain Frohnhoefer that it carries the potential to chase boaters from local waters.

“This legislation requires Suffolk County residents to get safety certification but not people from outside of the area,” Mr. Galasso said. “So people who know the local waters will need certification, but not people from outside of the area?”

A spokesman for Legislator Steven Stern (D-Huntington), the bill’s sponsor, said he hopes the state will follow the county’s lead and enact a statewide measure.

He noted that neighboring states already require boating licenses.

“If you’re coming from other states, especially New Jersey or Connecticut, you’re OK because you’ve probably gone above and beyond what we’re asking for,” said the spokesman, Brian Galgano. “You don’t need to have a boater’s license in New York like you do in those states.”

Mr. Galgano said the law would not take effect until a year after it’s signed. That would give the Coast Guard Auxiliary, United States Power Squadrons and similar organizations offering safe-boating courses that meet the standards set by the National Association of Boating Law Administrators time to “get everyone on board” and receive necessary safety certification.

Mr. Frohnhoefer insisted that a year is still too short a time.

North Fork Legislator Ed Romaine (R-Center Moriches) said although the bill’s purpose is laudable and valuable, the county may be preempting the state’s authority.

The executive’s office disagrees. “The legislation clearly states it is over Suffolk County residents having to do with Suffolk County waters,” Ms. Baird-Streeter said.

Mr. Stern said he has “every confidence” that the law would be upheld if challenged. “It’s important to keep in mind that it’s a reasonable, bipartisan legislative initiative that was passed unanimously.”

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