By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Police Department’s boat team held a dedication ceremony Saturday for its new OC6 canoe along the Schuylkill River.

There was a traditional Hawaiian blessing for the team’s new OC6, an outrigger canoe which seats six paddlers. The crowd was invited to touch the vessel, and then there was a celebration with fire and hula dancers.

(credit: John McDevitt)

(credit: John McDevitt)

Police Sergeant Catherine Fan says the boat is named the “Vargas” after the team’s beloved coach, who died last winter.

“We wanted to have a positive way of remembering and memorializing our beloved coach and Captain Pete Vargas, detective Pete Vargas,” she says. “He was a Philadelphia detective who had a sudden death, not work-related.”

The team’s previous OC6 was destroyed last year off the coast of Atlantic City.

Fundraising efforts continue for the new canoe with designer bag bingo on November 16 at the Philadelphia FOP in the great northeast.

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