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High-flying sailors at Lake Anna

Posted on Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 10:12 am

It has been a banner year for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 87 at Lake Anna. Not only did the organization celebrate its 20th anniversary,  but it also entertained a visit from top USCG leadership and held a training session for Louisa County Sheriff’s Office emergency communications officers.

Representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard visited Lake Anna earlier this summer.

Representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard visited Lake Anna earlier this summer.

On Saturday, July 27, Rear Adm. Steven Ratti, commander District 5 Southern Region; Capt. John Little, Sector Hampton Road; Commander Steven Fachko, director of the auxiliary; and USCG Auxiliary Commodore Ted Potter, traveled to Lake Anna to observe and participate in a typical safety patrol on the lake.

The focus of the visit was to learn more about the North Anna Nuclear Power Station, the water dynamics at Dike 3 and the dam, according to Jean McCormick, Flotilla 87 commander.  As the special guests boarded auxiliary boats for the patrol, they were given a map of the lake to assist in identifying landmarks and special features.  The maps were produced last year by the Lake Anna Civic Association’s Emergency Services Committee.

“Rear Adm. Ratti, Capt. Little and Cmdr. Fachko also wanted to know about how we interact with the boating public, our patrol protocols, and most importantly, our relationships with law enforcement and fire and rescue,” McCormick said.  “Our role is clear while we have no law enforcement authority, we do approach boaters during patrols to educate them about proper operation and behavior.”

Immediate Past Flotilla Commander Maureen Daniels added that while the auxiliarists know their role, they have established themselves as team players who have contributed to a strong productive relationship with all groups on the lake who are interested in making Lake Anna safer for all users.

The patrol allowed for a relaxed exchange of information about what the auxiliary does on state waters, a unique area of responsibility for the district, McCormick said.

“Rear Adm. Ratti was impressed with our Lake Anna map and our most recent public safety initiative, the use of dock signs that serve as water-based 911 location markers in the event of an emergency,” McCormick said.  “Capt. Little was pleased to see how closely we work with all the agencies that protect boaters on our lake.”

To read the entire story, see the Oct. 10 edition of The Central Virginian.