When I taught sailing the rule
was to never tow a vessel larger than yourself. Better yet, have them put down their anchor
and call vessel assist. Why risk damaging your vessel when all they have to do is hire a professional to get them back in safely? Is it really worth risking damaging your boat to the tune of thousands of dollars and possibly injuring someone in order to save someone else a $300 tow?
If someones life is in immediate danger
, then sure, take them into tow and call the Coasties.
In our litigious society, you also become liable if you damage their vessel or injure someone. There are no good samaritan laws for towing.
Being a good samaritan by offering a tow gets more people into trouble.
Quite a number of times I have been waved over by people who want a tow. The first thing I suggest is that they put down their anchor
. I then ask if they have a cell phone
or a radio
. If they don't then I offer to call vessel assist for them. I know it sounds harsh but it is not worth assuming all the risks involved.
Don't even think about pulling someone off who is aground. Guess who will be paying the yard bill if you break something?
Think twice before taking someone into tow. Are they really in immediate danger
?..or are they just trying to save the cost of hiring a professional?