USCG Auxiliary Flotilla 1-4 Fort Walton Beach-Destin currently has 65 active members on its roster. The USCG Destin Station celebrated its 35th year of existence in November 2012. Yet, the Auxiliary had members on facilities conducting search and rescue mission’s way before the area had an active duty station located here. So, we have a rich history serving our fellow citizens.
•The Fort Walton Beach-Destin Flotilla contributed 1,613 hours of direct operational support to USCG Station Destin.
•We executed 79 marine patrols in our area-of-responsibility for 314 hours.
•We directly supported search and rescue operations for 5.5 hours on three missions.
•We assisted 14 local mariners potentially saving life, limb and property.
•We inspected 1,044 aids to navigation during 39 different patrols.
•We conducted 219 hours of member training for crews.
•We spent 172 hours visiting 280 marine dealer partners across two counties.
•We preformed 262 vessel safety checks, 107 of which were first-timers.
•We dedicated 258 hours to various public affairs missions promoting recreational boating safety.
•We conducted 20 different public education classes training 422 students, 148 of which were under the age of 17, for over 113 hours of instruction.
USCG Destin reports that they have seen a reduction in search and rescue missions of between 76 and 78 percent over the last 10 years. One factor they listed is the mandatory boating safety education classes that are required to operate a boat nowadays.
The Flotilla offers the mandatory boat safety education class, courtesy vessel safety check and other fun and educational classes throughout the year. More information, class dates, and times or to register for a class may be found at www.flotilla14.info.
We are a uniformed, volunteer organization which has over 30,000 members nationally. Our primary mission is to provide boating safety education and information to the boating public. This is done through offering safe boating courses, complementary vessel safety examinations and informational displays.
Our members are offered advanced training and other opportunities to increase their boating skills. Furthermore, we act as a force multiplier for the U.S. Coast Guard by serving as radio watch-standers, performing marine patrols, assisting with search and rescue missions and executing various other operational or administrative jobs. Fellowship within our ranks is another important part of our organization.
We have monthly flotilla meetings at USCG Station Destin the second Saturday of the month, with breakfast served at 8:15 a.m. for $4. Our meeting starts as 9 a.m.
Recently, the Auxiliary Flotilla held elections for the positions of Flotilla Commander and Flotilla Vice Commander for 2013. Elected to Flotilla commander was John Beebe, who served as Flotilla Vice Commander in 2012. Elected to vice commander was John Ryan, who served as public affairs staff officer and public education staff officer in 2012.
For more information on joining our Flotilla please go to www.flotilla14.info. Or contact Stan Smith at email@example.com or 850-865-9130.
Joe G. Moffitt is public affairs officer for the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary in Destin.