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EXPERIENCE THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME

Frying Pan Tower Volunteers

We rely on volunteers who can donate their time and talent to help us achieve our mission to preserve Frying Pan Tower. During your stay on the tower we provide on-site accommodations and food for meals. All donation proceeds are allocated for the restoration, repairs, and routine maintenance expenses, and do not provide for the cost of transportation. 

What You Need To Know

FPTower Inc. is dedicated to restoring and preserving a unique part of American history and we depend on skilled volunteers who have an interest in helping restore the tower while enjoying an ocean-life adventure.

Our volunteer vetting process requires that all volunteers possess certain criteria and skill sets, and are required to attend a mandatory training course to ensure safety.  As we depend on the help of skilled volunteers, both on and off-shore, we do not hire employees. Occasionally the need to contract for more specialized services may be required. 

Some of our more current projects do require volunteers who possess the following specialized skills: welding, electrical work, painting, metal work, cleaning, certified captains, volunteer organizers, and project managers.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are multiple ways to get to Frying Pan Tower:

  • FAA certified helicopter service 
  • Ocean going boat with a certified captain. 
  • In your own ocean-going vessel with prior approval by FPTower Inc..

Depending on your mode of transportation and where you depart, it could take any where from 20 minutes to several hours.

Helicopter trips typically depart from Southport around 9:00 AM, and return trips typically depart from the tower between 10:00 and 11:00 AM. Volunteers should arrive 30 minutes prior to departure. These times may vary depending on weather conditions.

Scheduling travel by boat is upon arrangement by the captain.

The cost of transportation is typically $600-$900 per person, and may be considered a tax deductible donation as a travel expense to do volunteer work.

FPTower Inc. reserves the right to reserve one seat for a designated crew member to accompany volunteers.

All travel arrangements must be booked through FPTower, Inc. in order to coordinate volunteers, transportation service providers, supplies. and equipment needs.

For departures via helicopter service from the Cape Fear Regional Airport area.

If traveling by boat, departures are dependent on the certified boat captains but we try to stick to marinas that are in close proximity to keep travel times to a minimum. 

Helicopter is the quickest and most exciting way of getting to the tower. However, there are weight limitations. No single passenger can weigh over 275 pounds. 

Each helicopter ride carries a maximum of 620 pounds. This includes up to three (3) passengers plus any gear and supplies. No exceptions. 

FAA helicopter safety restraints require that all passengers and their cargo must be weighed together prior to boarding the helicopter. 

Pack as light as you can. There is a washer and dryer or eco-clothes line at the tower so you can wash clothes.

  • Depending on the length of stay you will need one (1)  set of work clothes for getting messy and that are easy to move around in.  For stays longer than four (4) days you should bring an additional set of work clothes for alternating.
  • One pair of protective work shoes. With regard to weight and space limitations via helicopter, we recommend wearing your boots rather than packing them.
  • A casual weather-appropriate outfit to wear when relaxing.
  • A pair of flip flops.
  • Perhaps a swimsuit for the warmer seasons! 
  • Any doctor prescribed medications.

Frying Pan Tower is well equipped with proper safety equipment and stocked with household kitchen bed and bath supplies, essential items like food, drinks, snacks, toiletry items like soap, shampoo and toothpaste, hair dryers, first aid supplies, and sunscreen. If there is something else you might need that is not listed, please check with us first. 

For your safety, if you have any allergies (food and non-food) please let us know prior to your visit so we can be prepared.

We rely on volunteers to achieve our mission to restore, protect and preserve Frying Pan Tower. During your volunteer stay, we provide home-like accommodations and food for meals (burgers, hot dogs, deli meats, and all the fish you can catch).

We simply ask that you clean up after yourself during your stay and put things back in order before you leave.

We consider your safety the most important part of having a great adventure.  This facility is out in the open ocean and is a very dangerous place where foolish action can result in serious consequences very quickly.  FPTower Inc., Frying Pan Tower, and fractional owners are not liable for accidents. Volunteers are providing volunteer services at their own risk and are required to sign a liability release waiver before being allowed on Frying Pan Tower.  

No, although the tower is in international waters, it is not an independent country.

Requirements for Volunteering:

  • You must be of relatively good health in both body and mind.
  • Must be physically able to perform the assigned tasks. We do not ask people to more than they are able.
  • Handicapped persons will accommodated with no climbing required.
  • No children under the age of 10 without expressed permission (or of any age if not able to follow safety instructions).
  • Pets are not allowed (sorry, this is not a safe environment for animals).
  • Recreational firearms are allowed by permission only and must be unloaded and secured during transport.
  • All participants are required to print and sign the release waiver in advance and will not be allowed on the tower without it. 

FPTower Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. Although you cannot deduct the value of your time or services, you may be able to deduct the travel expenses incurred while donating your services. Please check the IRS website or your tax professional for to see if you qualify.