Coast Guard Cutter Vise crew partakes in dependents cruise to Egmont Key State Park

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Vise took part in a dependents cruise to Egmont Key State Park on Egmont Key, Saturday.

Family and friends of crewmembers on the Vise were able to come on board and enjoy a short trip to Egmont Key where the event ‘Discover the Island’ was taking place. ‘Discover the Island’ is an event including self-guided tours of Ft. Dade, Civil War reenactments, pirate games, tours of the Egmont Key Lighthouse among many other activities.

“We invited family and friends today as a way to give the crew the chance to spend time with their loved ones,” said Chief Warrant Officer Michael Popelars, the commanding officer of the Vise. “We have a great relationship with the workers and volunteers on the island and they allowed us to come over and have some fun. I think everyone had a great time today!”

“The dependents cruise is a chance to get family on board to see what we do,” said Chief Petty Officer Mitchell Evans, a boatswains mate onboard the Vise. “It’s a day for them. We try to do it at least once or twice a year.”

“It’s a great family event,” said Tina Rapaport, wife of Master Chief Petty Officer Louis Rapaport, the command master chief for Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg. “It shows you how much the Coast Guard is geared towards the family. We got to see what the guys do. This was Jourdan’s (daughter) first time on a Coast Guard boat and we had a terrific time.”

The Vise is a 75-foot inland construction tender with a 68-foot barge attached. The Vise maintains the whole west coast of Florida’s fixed aid to navigation systems , which includes approximately 1,600 aids.

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