Coast Guard participates in Norfolk, Va. OpSail 2012

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard led the Parade of Sail Friday, as other crews aboard small boats and cutters provided security for the event.

Crews aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Shearwater, an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Little Creek, and the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle, a 295-foot barque homeported in New London, Conn., led the parade as ships transited from the Lynnhaven anchorage in the Chesapeake Bay down the Elizabeth River into Norfolk at Town Point Park.

A crew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City in Elizabeth City, N.C., conducted a flyby over the parade.

“Today’s parade is emblematic of a proud tradition of working alongside the Navy and our partners to safeguard our nation’s interests,” said Capt. Mark Ogle, the commanding officer of Sector Hampton Roads. “The Coast Guard has been protecting our nation and facilitating commerce for more than 200 years.”

The Eagle will be open for free public tours Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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