Wednesday, December 26, 2012

(LtoR) Auxiliary members Howard Montgomery, Ed Hind, Don Gallagher testing their dry suits.  Photo by Auxiliarist Jim Thomas



Kilmarnock, Virginia.  The Virginia area is a great part of the country for boating.  Although there are a lot of cold temperatures during the winter season, there still are people on the water like commercial fisherman, recreational fishermen and even the occasional recreational boater.  On some winter days, the air temperature warms up enough to have a nice sail.

Article by Auxiliarist Brian McArdle

Recently, ten members of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary in Kilmarnock gathered to test their drysuits for winter operations.  “We may get a warm day into the 70s during the winter, “commented Auxiliarist Ed Hind. “However, the water is still cold and cold water is dangerous.  If our members are to assist other boaters during the winter, we need to be prepared.”

“Lots of people have winterized their boats already, but during one of our patrols in the middle of December, we saw over forty recreational fishing boats on the Rappahannock River between Urbanna and Belle Island,” stated Mark Paterni, an Auxiliary boat crew member.  “The Auxiliary needs to be prepared to conduct rescue operations in all kinds of weather and conditions if we are to be effective.”

The Auxiliary encourages the use of life jackets all the time, especially if you are out by yourself and out in cold water, like it is now.  It doesn’t take long in cold water for you to lose coordination and feeling so you can’t get back on your boat.  When the Auxiliary gets called out, it is much better to result in a rescue case then a recovery.

So, if you are driving across the Rappahannock River Bridge and see a boat traveling along in cold weather, you may wonder who could possibly be out in this weather.  Well, it may by your local Coast Guard Auxiliary, as we are “Semper Paratus” Always Ready!

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