At the US Power Squadrons (USPS) Annual Meeting in Jacksonville, Florida, five Squadrons from around the country and one District were honored with Distinguished Civic Service Awards. Sponsored by Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), the awards are given annually to the USPS District and Squadrons in recognition of exceptional service and public boating safety education and service to the boating community.
Fort Macon Sail and Power Squadron Commander Kenneth D. Link, Senior Navigator, with the US Power Squadrons “Top Squadron” Award.
This year’s gathering was extra special as it was the marking of the 100th Anniversary for the USPS, which began with the efforts of Charles Chapman, who in 1914 realized that owners of newly developed recreational powerboats needed instruction on how to operate safely and with confidence. Today, the USPS has over 400 regional 'Squadrons' for owners of both sail and powerboats.
BoatUS Foundation Assistant Director of Boating Safety Ted Sensenbrenner, who presented the awards said, 'Power Squadron members have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share. These volunteers spend their own time teaching boating safety classes and give up their weekends to offer free vessel safety checks. We thank them for their commitment to help others out and greatly value the services they provide.
The five Squadrons that earned Distinguished Civic Service Awards in 2013 are:
St. Petersburg Sail and Power Squadron, St. Petersburg, FL
Lake Norman Sail and Power Squadron, Lake Norman, NC
Crystal River Sail and Power Squadron, Crystal River, FL
Peace River Sail and Power Squadron, Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte, FL
Fort Macon Sail and Power Squadron, Morehead City, NC
Awards are determined by the amount of logged classroom hours, community outreach hours (including attendance at boat shows) and conducting vessel safety checks. These voluntary and free safety reviews are designed to educate boaters about recommended and required safety equipment aboard recreational vessels and to assess the condition of the safety equipment they have aboard.
Fort Macon Sail and Power Squadron also earned 'Top Squadron' honors, for their creativity in bringing boating safety education and awareness of the Squadron’s activities to the public. The Squadron worked extensively with local press, through social media and with community groups and events to spread the boating safety message.
Five squadrons also earned Honorable mentions in the Distinguished Civic Service Awards:
Cape Fear Sail and Power Squadron, Cape Fear, NC
Charleston Sail and Power Squadron, Charleston, SC
Raleigh Sail and Power Squadron, Raleigh, NC
Vero Beach Sail and Power Squadron, Vero Beach, FL
Virginia Beach Sail and Power Squadron, Virginia Beach, VA
The Top District Award, which recognizes the collective efforts of all of the squadrons within a region, went to District 27, which is made up of 20 squadrons in North and South Carolina.