2012 Auxiliarist of the Year – Chris W. Bandy

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Auxiliarist Chris W. Bandy of Flotilla
28-1 in the Ninth District, Central Auxiliary Region, as the
2012 Auxiliarist of the Year.  Photo by Auxiliarist Joseph Giannattasio.

San Diego.  Auxiliarist Chris Bandy enrolled in the Auxiliary in June 2010 and quickly earned the reputation as an enthusiastic volunteer, subject matter expert, and Paddle
Smart Program manager in the Apostle Island National Lakeshore area of Lake
Superior.  The Paddle Smart Program was launched in 2011 to curb the rising
number of kayaking fatalities. It was significantly promoted and championed
by Mr. Bandy who devoted over 700 hours working alongside the National Park
Service, the U.S. Coast Guard, and local kayak outfitters to increase
kayaking safety awareness.

He coordinated underway professional exchanges
with National Park Service units, and executed an exceptional kayak search
and rescue exercise that involved several federal and local response
agencies along with nearly all local kayak organizations. Mr. Bandy
personally distributed over 700 kayak emergency contact decals and
spearheaded public education and outreach to over 3,000 kayaking enthusiasts
in the region.

His dedication and commitment to strengthening partnerships
and advancing kayak safety were instrumental to the prevention of kayaking
fatalities and the lowest number of Coast Guard paddle sport-related search
and rescue cases within the Apostle Island National Lakeshore area in more
than four years.

Mr. Bandy quickly qualified in several Auxiliary program disciplines
including boat crew member for the Coast Guard Station Bayfield 25-foot RBS
Defender, Auxiliary public education instructor, and Auxiliary vessel
examiner.

He selflessly devoted over 1,300 hours of Auxiliary service to the
advancement of recreational boating safety and the professional development
of others. During his Auxiliary tenure, Mr. Bandy was awarded the Auxiliary
Achievement Medal, two Coast Guard Meritorious Team Commendations, and the
Sustained Auxiliary Service Award.

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