I won't defend all or any towing company or captain
or or towboat except me and the boat I run.
If I run over an anchor line where the guy is yelling "don't help me" ...the last thing I want want to do is damage my boat and certainly not disable my towboat wrapping an anchor rode
around it for awaile.
It could mean losing money
on some other job or not getting getting to a paid member
in time and losing that membership
I have seen thousands of these cases brought before me as an operations officer in the USCG required to monitor
assistance towing in my area and then the last 12 years as an assistance towing captain
A large part of the cases I have seen...the boat in trouble who says "I'm in the channel" has NO CLUE that they aren't in the channel and thus aground. So a lot of stories are suspect from the word go. My response to many needing assistance who get an attitude is..."I'm not the one aground or in trouble or disabled"...."you may want to think who here should be calling the shots"....
A large number of cases are mixed and bad communications
with distressed vessels and the approach by the towboat is difficult enough that if aground on a lee shore...it's difficult enough to approach and many times the anchor lines are an issue...so defending the towboat is irrelavent without a great picture of what all was going on.
But before we vilify assistance towers ....and along the entire Atlantic Seaboard (while it may be possible)...I have never seen a triple outboard
towboat as the cost/efficiency doesn't make sense. Could be...anyone have a pic of a triple outboard
But again...could have been a bad captain, a pirate like towboat company, etc...etc...
But Based on the industry as a whole...those are way fewer than the hundreds of thousands of boaters out there that get themselves in trouble...a tow company gets involves and all of a sudden it's ALWAYS the towboats fault?
I think not otherwise the USCG would step in and mandate restrictions and improvements against the towing fleets and they haven't so far.
While I have no reason to disbelieve the OP, some of the story sounds shaky to a very experience person in the field, and like many boating
mishaps I have seen...there's almost always more to the story....