Submitted by Chuck Dalldorf of the Coast Guard Auxiliary
During the week of Oct. 9, San Juan Community leaders joined the U.S. Coast Guard at a meeting for U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary’s San Juan Island Detachment in Friday Harbor to celebrate efforts to keep boating community safe and collaborate on future safe boating initiatives.
Rick Hughes, chair of the San Juan County Council; San Juan County Sheriff Ron Krebs; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jason Tessier, Commanding Officer, Station Bellingham; and Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 11 Commander Pam Chelgren-Koterba spoke at the meeting.
Hughes and Krebs both expressed their appreciation to Station Bellingham and the work of the San Juan Islands Detachment of the Auxiliary.
Hughes discussed San Juan County’s interest in improving boater amenities. The county has placed an emphasis on improving both recreational boating safety and marine safety for residents and visitors who enjoy the waters surrounding the San Juan Islands.
Krebs talked about increasing the numbers of boaters in and around the islands, including the high number of customs entries at both Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor. He talked about San Juan County’s interest to increase cooperation between agencies at all levels to provide increased recreational boating safety for islanders and visitors alike.
Krebs highlighted the contributions the volunteer Auxiliary members have made recreational boating safe in the San Juan Islands. Both Hughes and Krebs expressed their desire to build stronger ties with the Coast Guard and Auxiliary.
CWO2 Tessier expressed his commitment to work closely with communities throughout Station Bellingham’s area of responsibility. In addition to the work Coast Guard Station Bellingham for public safety and recreational boating safety, CWO2 Tessier talked about the station’s desire to participate in community events and helping contribute to the communities in the San Juan Islands. He committed to return to the San Juan Islands to continue collaboration with community partners engaged in the safety of all living and visiting the Islands.
Auxiliary Flotilla Commander Chelgren-Koterba presented several members of the San Juan Island Detachment awards recognizing their commitment to recreational boating safety during the meeting. In 2017 alone, the Auxiliary’s San Juan Islands Detachment accomplished 248 vessel safety checks, numerous public education events and classes, and safety patrols throughout the islands.
Auxiliary activities promoting recreational boating safety include public education about water/boating safety at all levels (including Washington’s mandatory boater education), free vessel safety checks, providing boating information to local marine businesses, assisting with life jacket loaner stations, inspecting aids to navigation, submitting marine chart updates, and assisting local boaters underway in the San Juan County waters.
The Coast Guard Auxiliary’s San Juan Island’s Detachment is always open to new members and encourages participation in recreational boating safety. For more information about the Auxiliary’s San Juan Islands Detachment, contact David Tribolet at 360-376-3994.
The Coast Guard Auxiliary is the uniformed civilian component of the U.S. Coast Guard and supports the Coast Guard in nearly all mission areas. The Auxiliary was created by Congress in 1939. For more information, visit www.cgaux.org.