Presumably, the USCG would have instructed the Hunter's crew to cleat off the anchor rode, before attaching the tow line. The crew either failed to do so, or the cleat snapped from the strain - not surprising, considering the boat's typically lightweight hardware.
There's a late model 45 Hunter at my dock - never goes out and is used as a summer condo. By comparison, my 33 foot boat's bow cleats are over twice as big.
True Blue . . .
sold the Nauticat