East Texas tug-boaters help stranded boats - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

East Texas tug-boaters help stranded boats

Dan Small, left, along with father, Jim Small. (Photo: KTRE) Dan Small, left, along with father, Jim Small. (Photo: KTRE)
Photo: KTRE Photo: KTRE
EAST TEXAS (KTRE) -

Dan Small manages a towing business. He doesn't tow cars, he tows boats.

East Texas houses a lot of natural waters properties, including Lake Sam Rayburn. With the lake bring almost 80 miles long, his is the only business towing stranded boats.

His business began about two years ago when he and his dad recognized a need.

“We saw a guy who was having some trouble on the lake and we started figuring out what could be done about people who were in trouble,” Small said.

That experience has taught Small the three main reasons boaters need his help.

“The most common is electrical problems, the second most common is lower unit problem and the third most common that we found, as of now, is storms,” Small said.

In the past four weekends, he had serviced calls late as 11:30 p.m. and nearing the early morning hours to haul the boat back to the shore.

“We've done rescues out of the dam before where they're being sucked into the generators,” Small said. “We found a boat here a while back of a gentleman who had drowned. We didn't know that at the time, but we found his boat and later did a search for him.”

The most frequent calls he accepts are from families, but during fishing tournament season, Small receives several calls from fishing teams.

Servicing not only at Lake Sam Rayburn, but also the Toledo Bend Reservoir, Small said it is his way to accept the call to serve.

“Every time there is a storm, somebody gets stranded on the water somewhere and you have to go out and get them,” Small said.

The boat captain said in the past month, the business has gotten up to at least eight phone calls each weekend of stranded boaters.

His biggest safety tip: Wear a life jacket. 

Contact Small at 936-715-8748 for details on his services. 

Copyright 2017 KTRE. All right reserved. 

  • East Texas NewsMore>>

  • Community rallies behind newborn after overcoming obstacles left behind by Hurricane Harvey

    Community rallies behind newborn after overcoming obstacles left behind by Hurricane Harvey

    Sunday, September 24 2017 7:23 PM EDT2017-09-24 23:23:50 GMT
    (Source: Crystal Sepulvado)(Source: Crystal Sepulvado)

    When Crystal and Shane Sepulvado learned they were pregnant with their third child, they were ecstatic. But immediately Crystal knew something was not right, as relied on her experience working at an OB-GYN office. "When we looked at the ultrasound, we has seen fluid around her heart," Crystal said. Doctors later explained to the couple that their unborn child had a hole between her ventricles. With an early pregnancy, the couple was rushed to Houston,...

    More >>

    When Crystal and Shane Sepulvado learned they were pregnant with their third child, they were ecstatic. But immediately Crystal knew something was not right, as relied on her experience working at an OB-GYN office. "When we looked at the ultrasound, we has seen fluid around her heart," Crystal said. Doctors later explained to the couple that their unborn child had a hole between her ventricles. With an early pregnancy, the couple was rushed to Houston,...

    More >>
  • Defense questions investigator in third day of Henderson trial

    Defense questions investigator in third day of Henderson trial

    Friday, September 22 2017 7:19 PM EDT2017-09-22 23:19:49 GMT
    James Henderson's defense attorney, Stanley Sokolowski, started off the third day of court by questioning the state's witness, Investigator Bill Rulland. The cross examination lasted most of the morning and even a little into the afternoon. According to Investigator Michael Molnes, with the Houston County Sheriff's Office, Sokolowski attempted to discredit Brenna Theuer's witness testimony, as well as testimony from Robert Mobley.  The trial is expected to head into closing arg...More >>
    James Henderson's defense attorney, Stanley Sokolowski, started off the third day of court by questioning the state's witness, Investigator Bill Rulland. The cross examination lasted most of the morning and even a little into the afternoon. According to Investigator Michael Molnes, with the Houston County Sheriff's Office, Sokolowski attempted to discredit Brenna Theuer's witness testimony, as well as testimony from Robert Mobley.  The trial is expected to head into closing arg...More >>
  • Tar-covered tires stick to parking lot of Lufkin tire shop

    Tar-covered tires stick to parking lot of Lufkin tire shop

    Friday, September 22 2017 7:09 PM EDT2017-09-22 23:09:01 GMT
    More than a few tar-covered tires are hanging on to the parking lot of a Lufkin tire shop.  On August 31, newly laid asphalt on Loop 287 started sticking to tires of those driving, leaving many of the cars un-driveable. As of Friday, the Texas Department of Transportation hadn't come out with an official cause for the incident, but that hasn't stopped over 600 people from filing claims with them. Copyright 2017 KTRE. All rights reserved.More >>
    More than a few tar-covered tires are hanging on to the parking lot of a Lufkin tire shop.  On August 31, newly laid asphalt on Loop 287 started sticking to tires of those driving, leaving many of the cars un-driveable. As of Friday, the Texas Department of Transportation hadn't come out with an official cause for the incident, but that hasn't stopped over 600 people from filing claims with them. Copyright 2017 KTRE. All rights reserved.More >>
Powered by Frankly