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Saturday, March 24 News

Penfield Squadron saluted as boating sails into a new season

As the town prepares for the unofficial start to the summer season this Memorial Day weekend, the Penfield Power & Sail Squadron was recognized for its efforts to promote safe boating.

At South Benson Marina Monday afternoon, First Selectman Michael Tetreau presented a proclamation to John Pyrch, commander of the power squadron, and Don Peterson, the group's treasurer. The proclamation not only recognized the U.S. Power Squadron's 100th anniversary this year, but also Safe Boating Week, which runs May 17 through 23.

"We'll continue our efforts making boating safer for everyone," Pyrch said.

The local power squadron was established in 1969, when it split off from the Housatonic Power Squadron, Peterson said. In 2011, the Housatonic group was absorbed by the Penfield squadron, and the organization now serves coastal communities in Fairfield, Bridgeport and Stratford, as well as inland communities like Easton and Trumbull.

"We teach the basic boating course, which qualifies people for their Connecticut boating license," Peterson said.

The squadron is also sponsoring a "Flare Up" Saturday at the Regional Fire Training School at 205 Richard White Way (previously, One Rod Highway) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event gives boaters a chance to dispose of expired flares, and also learn the proper techniques for using flares. The event is free and open to anyone.