>Operation Yukon Coastie 2010

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The Alaskan Coast Guard Auxiliary, with the support of D17 and Sector Anchorage, has made substantial strides in developing rural community outreach programs focused on boating safety.

On December 9, 2008, while participating in a static display for the Alaska Tribal and Military Leaders meeting at Elmendorf Air Force Base, the Auxiliary demonstrated the use of “Coastie – The Safety Boat”. Coastie is a remote controlled robot boat used by the Auxiliary for youth education and boating safety programs.

Following the demonstration, several community leaders inquired if the Auxiliary could bring Coastie to villages along the Yukon River. Operation Yukon Coastie team members and the D17 Auxiliary Commodore again met with tribal leaders during the 2010annual Tanana Chiefs’ Conference in Fairbanks to review goals for Coastie’s Yukon River visit.

Yukon villages rely heavily on the river for transportation, using outboard powered boats to travel to fish camps, hunt, fish, gather firewood, and a host of other activities most would do by automobile.

On June 6, 2010, five Auxiliarists and one active duty representative from Sector Anchorage will embark on a ten day, 920 mile boating safety outreach mission named “Operation Yukon Coastie”, visiting eight villages Yukon River.

Operation Yukon Coastie is the first of its kind for both the USCG and the Auxiliary. It is an ambitous, logistically challenging initiative designed to share boater safety information within rural Alaska and encourage cooperation and understanding between all involved.

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