Coast Guard Auxiliary to begin Operation Yukon Coastie

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – This weekend the Coast Guard Auxiliary will make final preparations to embark on an ambitious, unprecedented outreach operation focused on boating safety in remote areas.

Operation Yukon Coastie is a 10 day, 920-mile round trip mission along the Yukon River aimed at bringing boating safety education to remote Alaska villages. Six members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary and one active duty Coast Guard representative will travel to eight villages to share safe boating practices.

The outreach program features a visit from “Coastie,” the remote controlled robot boat used by the Coast Guard Auxiliary for youth programs in boating safety.  During the 2008 Alaska Tribal and Military Leaders meeting at Elmendorf Air Force Base, the Auxiliary demonstrated “Coastie – the Safety Boat” and garnered the interest of community leaders in bringing Coastie to villages along the Yukon. This enthusiasm initiated planning for Operation Yukon Coastie, the first program of its kind for both the Coast Guard and the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

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.

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