Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg holds open house

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. ─ More than 800 community members attended the 2014 Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg open house, Saturday.

The open house kicked off National Safe Boating Week and raised boating safety awareness for the St. Petersburg community. Nationwide, from May 17 – 23, the Coast Guard is celebrating NSBW and urging boaters to pay attention to their boating behaviors and reinforcing the importance of wearing a life jacket.

Coast Guard members pass out recruiting information to community members at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, Fla., during the sector's open house Saturday, May 17, 2014. The open house kicked off National Safe Boating Week and raised boating safety awareness for the St. Petersburg community. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael De Nyse)

Coast Guard members pass out recruiting information to community members at Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg, Fla., during the sector’s open house Saturday, May 17, 2014. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael De Nyse

The free event was an opportunity for the public to tour the sector and various Coast Guard boats and cutters stationed in their community, learn about boating, kayaking and canoeing safety information.

The open house included demonstrations in navigation, seamanship, communications, fire fighting, visual distress signals and knot tying. Equipment displays, vessel tours, food and boating safety pamphlets were made available for all attendees.

“I come every year,” said Claire Davidson, St. Petersburg resident and attendee at the open house. “It’s such a fun event, especially for the children, but more importantly, it is really educational.”

Several members from the boating community also took the opportunity to schedule a free vessel safety check, courtesy of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary personnel also assisted in demonstrating how to properly use safety equipment.

Click the image for more photos from the open house.

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