Auxiliarists Serve at Norfolk Harborfest

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Auxiliarist Charles McLeod PA III discussing recreational boating safety plans with SN  Saighman and SN Cedrone aboard the moored Cutter Kennebeck WLIC-802 during the opening hours of harborfest. USCG Auxiliary Photo by Andy Winz.

Auxiliarist Charles McLeod discussing recreational boating safety with Seaman Saighman and Seaman Cedrone aboard the moored USCG Cutter Kennebeck (WLIC-802) during the opening hours of Harborfest. USCG Auxiliary Photo by Andy Winz.

Norfolk, Virginia
– President Ronald Reagan once said that “by working together, pooling our resources and building on our strengths, we can accomplish great things.” Fifty-three Auxiliarists and 12 Auxiliary vessels had the distinct privilege of  working together in a joint federal, state, and local mission to ensure a safe and enjoyable thirty-eighth annual Norfolk Harborfest.

Article by Auxiliarist Charles McLeod, Public Affairs Officer

Auxiliarists from throughout Virginia augmented the Harborfest in a variety of roles. There were 42 Boat Crew, 6 Auxiliary Food Specialists, 3 Watchstanders, and 2 Public Affairs Staff. According to Auxiliarist Andy Winz who served in both a boat crew and public affairs capacity, “The Coast Guard Auxiliary has exemplified that old saying, you get out of it what you put into it.  It was a privilege having served along side so many exceptional men and women this weekend from the Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, and all the other agencies who participated.”

The Harborfest began more than a quarter century ago when the Norwegian Tall Ship Christian Radich came to call on Norfolk, a waterfront community that had no city-owned property on which to dock a ship. Over the next two years, City planners and leaders created berthing to accommodate more ships, and a waterfront public park was planned. With the arrival of more ships coming to port at the same time, celebrations and public interest naturally began to develop. Norfolk Harborfest was born.


USCG Auxiliary Photo by Charles McLeod.

One of the most impressive displays of getting out on the water was the vertical water jet demonstration This device can safely propel its rider up to 40 feet in the air. USCG Auxiliary Photo by Andy Winz.


Today, tall ships from all over the world frequently call on the City of Norfolk and nearly half a million visitors gather on the downtown waterfront each year for this annual celebration of the region’s rich nautical heritage. The traditions of one of the East Coast’s Premier Waterfront Festival are celebrated every year with nautical history, maritime events, visiting vessels, children’s activities, local, regional and national entertainment.


USCG Auxiliary Photo by Charles McLeod.

Swimmer in the water! USCG Air Station Elizabeth City rescue swimmers are always a hit with the public. USCG Auxiliary Photo by Andy Winz.


Over the course of the weekend, Auxiliarist Trey Clifton went on patrol with members of several different local units and had a front row seat for the Parade of Sail and the fireworks.  “It’s events like this where we don’t care what local unit you come from” stated Clifton, “The highlight, for me at least, of the weekend; was staring down the bow of the USS Cole as she turned slowly in the harbor to make her way back home to Naval Station Norfolk following the parade.”

Clifton further stated that Harborfest patrol experience was a “reminder that Freedom isn’t free… [and] one of the many functions of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary; being a force multiplier to our active duty counterparts, an extra set of eyes and ears always on the lookout for those who may wish us harm.”

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  1. Flotilla 05-09 says:

    There were actually THREE public affairs staff on hand.

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