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Cape Coral man charged thousands for boat towing service

Posted at 10:20 PM, Jun 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-27 09:39:49-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- Fox 4 is in your corner trying to get to the bottom of why a Cape Coral man was charged more than $8,000 for a boat towing service.

Nico Vredeveld has been a member of Tow Boat U.S. since 2010, paying $160 a year for his membership. And a couple months ago, he had to call for help.

“I had a mechanical issue with my boat, my boat made some water,” said Nico Vredeveld, Cape Coral.

Lee County Sheriff’s Department and Tow Boat U.S. came to the rescue, Nico was under the impression his membership covered *unlimited* towing come to find out it was way more than that.

“I said excuse me 8,000 dollars, I am a member, that cannot be, it cannot be that I have to pay $8,000 dollars for what,” said Vredeveld.

Vredeveld says the towing company never informed him of the cost before the service.

Fox 4 went to Tow Boat U.S. to find out why it was so expensive, off camera the company told me Nico’s boat was considered salvaged or rescued because they had to pump out water and the membership only covers towing, for example if your engine dies.

“In my opinion it’s towing, in their opinion it’s salvage, and the difference it’s a big amount," said Vredeveld.

Tow Boat U.S. also said they informed him of the cost without additional boaters insurance. But the numbers aren’t adding up for Nico, now having to fight this in court.

“People think they are covered, and I thought I am covered,” said Vredeveld.

Boaters double check your coverage before a day out on the water costs you thousands.