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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  1. Cathleen Schlesinger says:

    Congratulations and welcome to the Coast Guard family!
    I trust and hope you will always find the job challenging and rewarding.

  2. Loren Fletcher says:

    Hate to be a nay-sayer, but the following took place Thursday March 26th at 13:45 hours.
    Leaving little Cruz Bay from the National Park Dock, I overtook the St John Search and Rescue 20 foot run-about with three people aboard, which was traveling extremely slow at approx. 2 knots, I was passing in my 15 foot boat at approx. 4 knots. The operator yelled at me to slow down and I told him I was at proper speed there were many other vessels actually going faster than myself. As I exited the channel the SJ S&R vessel which had been approx. 40 feet behind me passed less than a foot from my boat when he swerved in front and fish tailed on our bow creating a tremendous wake wave, causing me to almost loose control and almost capsize my boat, and soaking myself and my five companions ranging from 54 to 76 years of age. The operator of the Search and Rescue boat turned around and was laughing.
    Yesterday,when I reported said incident to the Marine Safety Detachment in St. Thomas they informed me it was none of their concern as there was not an actual collision or injuries.
    The operator of St John Search and Rescue Vessel needs a reprimand and a course in Anger Control as his actions nearly caused a serious accident with injuries and possible loss of life.

  3. cgnews says:

    Loren, as I see it, you aren’t being a nay-sayer. The St. John Search and Rescue is not the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Therefore, the Auxiliary has nothing to do with what happened to you. In addition, what the Marine Safety Detachment said is true. If there was not a collision or injuries, they have no authority to do anything about it.