Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary wrap-up Operation Yukon Coastie

KODIAK, Alaska – The Yukon Coastie boating safety outreach team wrapped their 860-mile round trip Monday upon return to the Yukon River Bridge on the Dalton Highway in the interior of the state.

Operation Yukon Coastie was a 10-day mission along the Yukon River to provide boating safety education to the residents of eight remote Alaska villages that commenced on June 6. Six members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary and one active duty Coast Guard representative shared safe boating practices with 252 children and 70 adults during the voyage. This was the first time the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary have provided a boating safety outreach program of this size and scope to rural interior Alaska.

The outreach program featured a visit from “Coastie,” the remote controlled robot boat used by the Coast Guard Auxiliary for youth programs in boating safety and discussion and exercises in the proper wear and use of life jackets.

Villages along the Yukon River rely on the river and small power boats to travel, hunt, fish, gather firewood and a host of other activities most would accomplish with an automobile. These communities depend on the river for survival and unfortunately experience high rates of drowning fatalities.

The Yukon Coastie team had a taste of life in rural Alaska and overcame many of their own challenges such as broken boat windows and blown trailer tires to make the trip a great success.

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