Blind veterans go fishing
Ten visually impaired veterans spent an afternoon fishing aboard charter fishing boat, Ms. Drifty, out of Riviera Beach Marina Sept. 29. The trip was coordinated by Freedom Waters Foundation and donated by Ms. Drifty’s owners, Rob Brunner and Michael Dueitt.
The 10 veterans, most of the World War II era, are residents at the VA Visually Impaired Rehab Unit where they are learning to live with their loss of sight.
Freedom Waters Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides boating opportunities and marine-related education for people with disabilities and youth at risk. These services are provided by boat owners who donate their time and vessel for an afternoon.
Sugarloaf Key angler continues dominance
Gloria Rampfel of Sugarloaf Key, Fla., was named grand champion at the 47th Marathon International Bonefish Tournament, racking up her seventh win in eight years.
Guided by Capt. Tim Carlile, also of Sugarloaf Key, Rampfel released 41 bonefish during the three-day tournament.
Second place went to Gene Ford of Potomac, Md., last year’s grand champion, who scored 33 bonefish releases. Ford was guided by Capt. Albert Ponzoa of Marathon, as he was in 2005 when his victory broke a string of six straight grand championships for Rampfel.
Team honors went to Australians Dave Slicklen and Gary McLean, guided by Marathon’s Capt. Billy Rabito.
The largest bonefish in the tournament measured 29.5 inches. It was caught by Walter McManus of Big Pine Key, Fla. McManus and Meyer also caught the tournament’s only grand slam, consisting of a bonefish, permit and tarpon.
Thirty-seven anglers released 197 bonefish during the event.