CLEARWATER — The Clearwater Flotilla of the Coast Guard Auxiliary will host an open house Saturday, May 25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 510 N. Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater.

The event will mark the last day of National Safe Boating Week and also will serve as a celebration of the flotilla’s 96th birthday. The Clearwater Coast Guard Auxiliary invites the public to stop by and see what’s been happening. The event will include tours, refreshments and a drawing for a free boating class. Guests will have an opportunity to meet members and interact with special hosts.

The National Safe Boating Campaign is a worldwide effort focused on responsible boating, encouraging boaters to always wear a life jacket while on the water. National Safe Boating Week runs from May 18 through 24 this year. Annually, the Safe Boating Campaign kicks off the weekend before Memorial Day with National Safe Boating Week and continues throughout the year with various events and activities.

The open house will cap off a week of events for the Clearwater Coast Guard Auxiliary. The auxiliary will host a safe boating class May 18-19; free weekend vessel safety checks at Seminole and Belleair boat ramps; and safety patrols on the water.

The Clearwater Flotilla was founded in June of 1950 and will be celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2020. Instead of waiting until 2020 to celebrate this milestone, members wanted to open their doors to the public so local residents and visitors could see all the good things they’re doing to encourage safety on the water. The May 25 open house is just the start of the celebration.

Coast Guard Auxiliary Clearwater Flotilla 11-1’s area of responsibility extends from the Belleair Bridge in the south to Stevenson Creek in the north. Their missions mirror those of the active duty Coast Guard with the exception of law enforcement and related activities. Being stewards of the environment, conducting safe boating classes, providing free vessel safety checks, and assisting boaters in distress are just a few of the many missions completed by the members of the Clearwater Flotilla.

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