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Yachts invited to join flotilla for, with first responders

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Yachts and boats are invited to join in a flotilla in South Florida on July 11 to honor the first responders in the COVID-19 pandemic. The vessels will carry nurses, doctors, firemen, emergency medical technicians, 911 dispatchers, and law enforcement first responders to give them a day on the water in appreciation for their work during the pandemic.

The flotilla is being organized by Capt. Tony Estrada, a yacht captain and administrator of the Captains On Call volunteer network. The event is also a fundraiser for First Responders Children’s Foundation, a non-profit organization formed in New York City following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to benefit the children of first responders who died that day. FRCF grants college scholarships for children of first responders killed in the line of duty and helps first responder families experiencing hardship in every economy, including Covid-19 pandemic. 

A portion of all donations for the South Florida flotilla will benefit the soon-to-arrive child of Kevin Mehaffey, a South Florida firefighter and EMT who died in a car crash on May 15 at the age of 30. He was also a certified commercial and rescue diver, a 100-ton USCG captain and a yacht broker.

No registration is required. Participants will depart from the two The Wharf locations — one on the New River in downtown Fort lauderdale and one on the Miami River — and run the Intracoastal Waterway toward each other to Haulover Cut. The event will be streamed as a live event from participating yachts.

For more information for first responders wishing to get on a vessel and for route updates (and date updates due to bad weather) can be found at www.1stRFC.org/flotilla. Or contact Capt. Estrada at 224-805-1963 or tony@bookouryacht.com. Donations can be made by texting FLOAT to 76278.

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