Sunday, July 22, 2007

Vetch & Release

The two major national membership comanies, BOAT/US and Sea Tow, have engaged in a little "tit for tat" this month. Am I the only one who hears a banjo and a guitar playing as I read these "dueling press releases"?

It all began with this release on July 11, which began with this statement:

Contrary to what you may be hearing from US Department of Homeland Security officials lately, recreational boating has never been safer.

Sea Tow wasted no time in rushing to release their own statement on July 16, spanking BOAT/US for

imply(ing) that recreational boating safety is good enough.

Two days later, an indignant BOAT/US couldn't resist the urge to engage in some name calling by calling Sea Tow a newcomer and an unsophisticated self-promoter...

Sea Tow Services, a towing services franchise company based in New York and a newcomer to the debate on boating safety, has shamefully distorted an on-going campaign by the 650,000-member Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) which takes issue with a US Department of Homeland Security effort to link boating safety to homeland security.

BoatUS has been at the forefront of the nation’s boating safety effort for decades and while we welcome everyone’s participation, public policy making is a complex undertaking requiring a certain level of sophistication and self-serving statements of the kind made by Sea Tow which totally distort the facts should be dismissed for what they are, blatant self-promotion, said Schwartz.


BOAT/US is correct if they are saying that forcing boaters to carry a federal ID card will do nothing to improve the skill levels of today's recreational boat operators, but so far BOAT/US has struggled to put that simple concept into writing.

I think Sea Tow took the correct position on that issue in their statement, but there are ways to make a point without picking a fight. Instead, Sea Tow couldn't resist using language like irrelevant...misleading...egregious. Those are fightin' words.

Now, everyone has egg on their face. Good job guys.