Panhandle Residents Startled by Gunboat Exercise

MARY ESTHER, Fla. (AP) -- Residents of water-front neighborhoods in the Florida Panhandle began flooding emergency lines after seeing heavily armed gunboats buzzing past their homes.
The calls began Tuesday evening and included reports of loud booms and gunfire.
The military told the Northwest Florida Daily News on Wednesday the boats were from the Navy's small craft instruction school based in Mississippi and that they were firing with blanks.
Callers told emergency dispatchers that boats appeared to be too far inland and said they were worried about weapons being fired.
Military officials said the boats were part of a routine exercise.


8195 Front Beach Road Panama City Beach, FL 32407 Station: 850-234-7777 News: 850-230-5221 Fax: 850-233-6647 FCC Form 398
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