Coast Guard Auxiliary charters new Flotilla in Saint John, U.S. Virgin Islands

SAINT JOHN, U.S. Virgin Islands – The Coast Guard Auxiliary will charter a new flotilla this morning at the Saint John’s Administration Building known as the Battery on Saint John.

Rear Adm. Robert Steve Branham, commander of the Seventh Coast Guard District, will join Delegate to Congress Donna Christiansen for the chartering ceremony for Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 16-3.

Saint John native and Coast Guard veteran Cheryl Boynes-Jackson will serve as the interim Flotilla Commander of the unit. The new Flotilla, with 15 charter members, will meet in Cruz Bay and includes volunteers interested in improving Coast Guard missions in the Caribbean.

“The formation of this Flotilla on St. John is an important step in improving boating safety on island,” said Boynes-Jackson. “We are very excited to have this day finally arrive.”

The Coast Guard Auxiliary is an all-volunteer branch of the Coast Guard that assists in promoting Boating Safety. Flotilla members carry out a variety of Coast Guard missions, including public education programs, vessel safety checks, marine environmental protection, and assisting the Coast Guard with search and rescue missions.

The Seventh Coast Guard District, as an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, provides prevention and response to marine safety and rescue operations across the southeast United States and the Caribbean. The Coast Guard Auxiliary augments those efforts through more than 5,700 members in sixteen divisions, including more than 100 Flotillas. Coast Guard Auxiliary has Flotillas on St. Thomas and St. Croix, and the addition of the St. John Flotilla gives the Coast Guard a presence on each of the main Virgin Islands under the Auxiliary’s Division 16.

“Our new Flotilla on St. John gives us complete coverage in the Islands,” said Duane Minton, Division 16 Commander of St. Croix. “It allows us to work better with our partners in the area, including the British Virgin Islands, to protect boaters who live and visit here.” The 16 new members of the St. John Flotilla bring the total number of members in Division 16 to 88. Virgin Island residents interested in more information on becoming members of the Auxiliary can visit the Division 16 website at

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