Newport Fishermen's Wives have started planning for the 2022 Blessing of the Fleet.
The recent tragedy of losing two lives on the White Swan lll show the importance of community support for our Fleet and and the loved ones that have lost someone to the sea, or worry about losing a loved one to the sea. The Blessing of the Fleet is a community ceremony honoring local fishermen and their families. The Blessing is open to any and all who wish to ask blessings on their fishing vessel, charter vessel, pleasure craft, or research vessel.
The Blessing of the Fleet began as an old-world Sicilian custom emphasizing faith and perseverance – qualities that have long fueled those who go to sea to earn their living. Since the 1950’s Newport’s Blessing of the Fleet has continued the custom of asking for prayers for protection at sea, bountiful catches, and peace of mind for the families at home. On Saturday, May 7th will be the start of the Blessing of the Fleet events at 2:00pm with the Boat Procession and Bless the Fleet, this takes place in the Yaquina Bay harbor and can be viewed from most locations on the Bayfront.
The boat parade gets underway from the area near the Port’s international terminal. The USCG Search & Rescue Helicopter (if available) and the motor lifeboats of Station Yaquina Bay signal the start of the parade. All vessels will follow the lead vessel from the international terminal heading west, turning just in front of the bridge before heading east to pass in front of the coast guard motor lifeboat, where local ministers will bless each vessel. Vessel registration forms are also located at England and Schiewe Marine Supply on the Newport Bay Front. There will be long standing fishermen up in the Coast guard station commenting on each boat, its history, the families that own it, work on it and the different fisheries they fish for.
At 4:00pm the Fisherman's Wives will have a community BBQ, the Fisherman's Wives are looking forward to taking this time to re-engage with the community and give thanks for all of the support they have gotten throughout the last few years. This lunch will be free of charge and is open to everyone in our community. They will also be handing out free NFW's shirts with our logo and all of our sponsors listed on the back. First come first serve. They will be ending the day at their treasured Memorial, with a service remembering our fishermen lost at sea while offering support and encouragement to all our fishing families. This will take place at the Fishermen's Memorial Sanctuary at 7:00pm.