I was honored to receive two awards for my activities in the Coast Guard Auxiliary at the District 13 Division 2 Change of Watch on Sunday January 17, 2010.
The first award was for being the most active verifier of Private Aids to Navigation in Division 2. Aids to Navigation (ATON’s) that are not owned by the U.S. Coast Guard are private aids (PATON) they are owned and maintained by private parties, such as marinas, Police Departments, dock owners, mooring buoys. Every year the Coast Guard Auxiliary fans out across the country to verify that these literally thousands of private aids are safe for boaters to use to help for safe navigation. The PATONS’s are checked for position, if they can be seen from the water, proper color, any lights on the PATON match the published characteristics and many other items. When a discrepancy is found the Coast Guard is notified so they can make sure the owners correct the problem and mariners are notified of the discrepancy is published in the Local Notice to Mariners until the PATON is corrected. The Auxiliary verifies 160 Private Aids to Navigation in the Northwest every year.
I received the “Betty J. Hamilton Recreational Boating Safety Award” for my Public Education efforts both inside and outside the Auxiliary. Betty Hamilton and her husband were U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary legends in the Pacific Northwest for their service over decades. A PDF of the introduction speech that was given for me by Wendell Brunk is below. There is one correction to the text, the 2,500 students should read 4,000. Instructors usually don’t get much feedback after a student graduates from a class. Not often will a student look up an instructor and say “the information you taught me prevented an accident last week,” so receiving this award was a great honor. I would like to thank all the skippers and others that gave me ideas for subjects that they wanted more information on. I would also like to thank all the students that I taught for being in class, without students there can be no class.
Click on the pictures for a larger view of the award.