Coast Guard Auxiliary unit volunteers nearly 14,000 hours of service to South Carolinians in 2016

Coast Guard Auxiliarist Ann Graham, bottom left, meets with Lexington County Sheriff's Department officers Austin Pace, left, and Sgt. Troy Livingston Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, during the Stand Up Paddleboard classic in Lake Murray, South Carolina. Both agencies worked together to help enforce a safety zone around the event. U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary photo by Barbara Burchfield.

Coast Guard Auxiliarist Ann Graham, bottom left, meets with Lexington County Sheriff’s Department officers Austin Pace, left, and Sgt. Troy Livingston Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, during the Stand Up Paddleboard classic in Lake Murray, South Carolina.  U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary photo by Barbara Burchfield.

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Members of Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 12-3 in Lake Murray announced March 5 they logged more than 13,900 volunteer hours in 2016.

Throughout the year, flotilla members dedicated their time in support of the Coast Guard and recreational boating safety efforts.

“Volunteer hours by Auxiliary members allow the Coast Guard to focus on protecting our homeland ports and waterways, law enforcement, maritime safety and the marine environment,” said Barbara Burchfield, a Coast Guard Auxiliary public affairs specialist. “Auxiliary members make a huge financial contribution to the community and to the state with their volunteer service.”

Flotilla 12-3 Auxiliarists performed 211 free vessel safety checks, 171 marine dealer visits and logged 460 underway hours by boatcrew members. Auxiliarists from Division 12 further supported the men and women of Coast Guard Station Charleston by standing more than 600 hours of communications watch, where radios are monitored for distress calls, as well as dedicating more than 300 hours on gate guard duty. Auxiliarists also conducted security rounds on the premises, monitored weather and worked closely with the unit’s officers of the day to carry out daily activities.

“I cannot thank our Auxiliary partners enough for their support,” said Lt. J.B. Zorn, the public affairs officer for Coast Guard Sector Charleston. “Their selfless service and devotion to duty have been an asset to Coast Guard personnel and the entire Low Country maritime community.”

In addition to their time and effort, Flotilla 12-3 observed its 70th anniversary on Feb. 1. Flotilla 12-3 also has the distinction of being the first Auxiliary unit in the state.

The flotilla’s members are local citizens and neighbors who are primarily tasked with services related to recreational boating safety. Such services include surface and air patrols, boating safety classes, courtesy vessel safety checks, boating safety education and outreach, and community relations. Auxiliarists further support active duty members by assisting in meal preparation at stations and aboard cutters, providing financial counseling, Auxiliary clergy support, pollution response and investigation, and some even serve as interpreters.

The Lake Murray Auxiliary surface operations team provides safety zones for regattas and special events, like the Navy Sea Cadets Great Portage Race, Paddle Benders Race, Lake Murray SUP Classic, Lake Murray Dam Swim for Drew, PTSD River Challenge and more. On shore, Flotilla 12-3 members support local programs such as the Chapin Community Service Day as well as the Columbia Veterans Day Parade, Gilbert’s Peach Festival, VFW Memorial services and Fort Jackson Safety Stand-down. For more information on Flotilla 12-3, visit: http://www.uscgaux-lakemurray.com.

For more information on the Coast Guard Auxiliary, visit https://www.cgaux.org/.

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