Governor Hogan Helps NRP Welcome New Water Safety Mascot
Two decades after arriving in Maryland from his native bamboo forest to help spread the water safety message for the Natural Resources Police, mascot PFD Panda has announced his retirement.
In a lighthearted weekend ceremony on the lawn of Government House, Governor Larry Hogan and his dog, Lexi, helped welcome Splash the Water Safety Dog, PFD Panda’s replacement.
Splash, a Chesapeake Bay retriever who is kenneled on Kent Island, will visit schools, fairs and other public events statewide to remind citizens that the best way to remain safe on the water is to wear a life jacket.
Appropriately, Splash will make his debut tonight as part of National Safe Boating Week when the Orioles face the Seattle Mariners at Camden Yards. The six-foot-tall brown dog will be at Community Booth in the concourse behind home plate. Ticket holders are encouraged to stop by to welcome Splash and get the chance to win a Splash doll and other prizes.
Maryland’s menagerie of mascots sent their best wishes to PFD Panda and offered a hearty welcome to Splash. The fraternity of the fuzzy included: the Baltimore Ravens’ Poe; Towson University Tiger Doc; the Naval Academy’s Bill; Louie of the Bowie Baysox; the UMBC retriever, True Grit; and Sammy, the Coast Guard seal. Check out the recorded goodbye, here.
Speaking through his long-time translator, NRP Sgt. Robert Ford, Panda expressed gratitude for the 20 years of support he received from the people of Maryland and he wished his replacement well.
In a final joint appearance, PFD Panda and Splash urged boaters to be safe this Memorial Day weekend and embrace the “Wear It” life jacket motto