LOUDON, Tenn., May 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- From wakeboarding to sunbathing, many Americans choose to spend summer on the water, and one East Tennessee community has turned an important safety message for fellow boaters into a celebration.
This spring, speedboats, sail boats, the Coast Guard Auxiliary and even party barges with slides off the back lined up to participate in Tellico Lake's annual Blessing of the Fleet. More than 35 boats joined the traditional ceremony hosted by Tellico Village's Cruising Club with rituals performed by Pastor Mark Rhodes of Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church. The event brought the lake community together to ensure a safe summer on the water.
The Blessing of the Fleet began as a predominantly Catholic tradition centuries ago in Mediterranean fishing communities. Both Greeks and Romans held elaborate ceremonies when their ships were christened, similar to today's ship launches. After receiving a blessing from a priest, parties were held and toasts were made to promote a bountiful season on the sea.
"Today the Blessing of the Fleet is a fun way to kick-off the boating season, while underscoring the importance of water safety," said Kenn Genge, commander of the Tellico Cruising Club. "Ultimately we want boaters to enjoy themselves, but also to remember to be cautious on the lake."
Since the Cruising Club's inception in 1997, it has worked to promote safe boating for its members through close affiliation with the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the promotion of boat inspections and safety classes. With more than 200 boats and 400 boaters, the organization promotes fellowship and seamanship on Tellico Lake.
"We hope all boats, from kayaks to cruisers, practice safety on the water and have a happy summer," said Genge.
About Tellico Village
Tellico Village is a planned, active adult community established in 1986 and located in Loudon County and Monroe County, Tennessee. It encompasses nearly 5,000 acres along Tellico Lake with the community continuing to grow because of the variety of recreational amenities available and the friendliness of the nearly 7,000 residents. For more information visit www.tellicovillage.org.
SOURCE Tellico Village