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Parade of boats in Shinnecock Bay supports Trump and law enforcement

Some Long Islanders are looking forward to the 2020 Republican National Convention this week as boaters in Hampton Bays show their support for President Donald Trump. Newsday's Steve Langford reports.  Credit: Newsday / Raychel Brightman and James Carbone

The presidential campaign floated out to Long Island Sunday as boaters of every variety motored through Shinnecock Bay to support President Donald Trump and law enforcement.

Displaying  “Trump 2020,” “Blue Lives Matter” and American flags, the parade included pleasure cruisers, recreational boats, smaller center consoles, speedboats, personal watercraft and a commercial trawler. They traversed Sunday from the Shinnecock Inlet to Ponquogue Bridge in Hampton Bays.

Interspersed with fishermen casting lures from a jetty, Trump supporters stood on land and docks waving to the boats and cheering. Those on boats responded with joyful bellows and brief chants of “four more years.” A bagpiper played from a boat. A person in an Elmo costume, sans furry feet, cheered from the roof of one boat. One flag said “Never Biden,” another read “Make liberals Cry Again.”

“The silent majority isn’t silent today,” said Cathie Gugliucci, 51, of Old Brookville, waving an American flag from shore. “We love the patriotism, supporting our president, the positive energy, supporting our police.”

Sunday's parade was one of a number of recent flotillas of boaters supporting Trump, including one in the Great South Bay attended by Trump’s late brother Robert Trump in late June.

A flyer advertising the event billed it as supporting both Trump and law enforcement.

“It’s a unique way to show support,” said Frank Lapinski, 64, of East Moriches, who is retired from law enforcement and watched the parade from a jetty along the inlet. “It’s a chance to show my patriotism.”

John Noonan, 73, of Hampton Bays, who was also on the jetty, called the fleet of pro-Trump boats “a great sight to see. It’s a great show of support.”

Freddie and George Hughes of Hampton Bays parked lawn chairs on the Shinnecock commercial fishing dock.

Freddie Hughes, a board of elections worker, said Trump “wants for America. He wants for we the people.”

Her husband George Hughes added “police officers are taking it on the chin and I don’t think there’s any reason for it.”

Long Island and the nation had seen a steady stream of protests from Black Lives Matter supporters in the wake of George Floyd's death after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck on May 25.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Spencer Harrison said there were no incidents to report from the Trump flotilla. He estimated more than 100 boats took part but other observers said they counted more than 200 crafts.

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