70 years and counting: Stonington Blessing of the Fleet returns this weekend

Born in the Azores, an island in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Portugal, Manuel Raymond Rezendes’ grandfather and father came to the U.S. more than a century ago. Members of his family have worked in the fishing industry ever since. A third-generation fisherman, Rezendes said it is difficult to attract younger workers. It is a taxing career with early mornings and long trips, hard labor and extreme danger at times. He’s been struck in the chest with ropes, knocked overboard and has lived to tell the tale. Others, including his grandfather, Manuel “Fayal” Perry Rezendes, have not been so fortunate. “Fishing has been part of our family since as long as I can remember, and it is important to honor the traditions and sacrifices that came with that,” said Rezendes, who will serve as the grand marshal for the 70th annual Blessing of the Fleet this weekend. >click to read< 17:20

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