Regatta Patrol for Dragon Boat Races

Friday, July 26, 2013

Canada Geese follow along dragon boat teams during Portland Dragon Boat Races on the Willamette River.  Photo credit: Auxiliarist Joann McCollum


Portland, Oregon. With over sixty colorful dragons gliding across the Willamette River, the public came out to enjoy a fun-filled weekend of competitive dragon boat racing.  This year marked the 25th anniversary of Portland’s Rose Festival Dragon Boat Races.  Teams of 20 paddled their “dragons” to victory.  The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary was on regatta patrol to assist in assuring a safe time for all in attendance.   

By Auxiliarist Dana Bergdahl, Public Affairs Specialist

USCG Auxiliarists patrolled this year’s event with at least five USCG Operational Facilities. They created security and safety zones to provide a wave-free race environment.  The various shifts for patrolling the regatta operated at different times each day, up to nine hours each day of the event.  Some of the vessel crews patrolled upriver of the races to advise recreational boaters in the area about the need for slow “no wake” speeds on the Willamette River. 

According to USCG Auxiliarist Hall Guttormsen, coxswain of the Kestrel, “Hours for each day for Kestrel were from 0800 to 1700 both days.”   Auxiliarist Dan MiIina’s crew was on patrol a minimum of seven hours each day.

(L to R) Auxiliarists Barry Owens, Hall Guttormsen and Don Murphy prepare for patrol on the Willamette River for the Dragon Boat Races. Photo credit: Auxiliarist Joann McCollum

The sunny and warm weather was optimal for a large crowd.  USCG Auxiliarists on patrol must be highly observant and have situational awareness of the environment at all times.  With a safe environment, dragon boat racers and the public were able to enjoy the two-day event.

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