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Panthers at Sea gets kids on the water

LONG BEACH — Local high school students enjoyed a day sailing on home waters during the annual Panthers at Sea Day on Sail on May 7.

A group of select students from Long Beach Jordan High School participated in the day sail that brings the community together to get kids on the water.

Boat owners from local yacht clubs, such as Shoreline, Seal Beach, Alamitos Bay, Long Beach and Long Beach Singles, provide each year boats for the day.

Under the direction of James Townes, the program is designed to reward students with a day sail to learn about sailing, boat handling and basic knowledge of boating. Panthers at Sea provide inner city students — many who have never been on the water before — an opportunity to experience sailing

In 2015, about 35 students were introduced to sailing the tall hips out of San Pedro. That same year a sailing club was created that launched a boating safety class for about 50 students at Jordan High School.

The program was first created in 1995 by David Braunstein, a teacher at Jordan High and member of Long Beach Singles Yacht Club, with the help of the Long Beach Marina Boat Owners Association. With the exception of a five-year hiatus from lack of funds and retirement of the founder, the program has run diligently each year since revitalizing in 2004 by Carl Kirnbauer. James Townes II took over as the director in 2014.

Panthers at Sea seek volunteer skippers for the 2016-2017 school year. Individuals interested in volunteering can contact

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