US Coast Guard Auxiliary adds new facility

The US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Prairie du Chien Flotilla now has a new facility ready to respond to missions on the Mississippi River. The Kaylee-Annie (pictured above), a 22-foot pontoon boat owned by Steve Gress of McGregor, was placed into service in July. Docked at the Winneshiek Marina north of Prairie du Chien, WI the Kaylee-Annie is available for routine patrol and search and rescue missions as a facility of the US Coast Guard. Auxiliary members provide their own boats, which must meet stringent requirements to be accepted by the US Coast Guard as a Coast Guard facility. When acting in an official capacity these vessels become US Coast Guard vessels (facilities) acting under orders from the United States Coast Guard and display the orange and white US Coast Guard Auxiliary patrol flag and signs. Auxiliary members serving on these facilities as crew and coxswain must also meet the same training and qualification requirements as their counterparts in the US Coast Guard. The mission of the Kaylee-Annie and her crew is to patrol the waters of Pools 9 and 10 assisting boaters in distress and watching for environmental hazards, hazards to navigation and other activities as directed by the US Coast Guard. She is available to assist local authorities with on the water missions. It takes a year or more to train as a crewmember and another year to qualify as coxswain. The flotilla has two more boats being readied for service and is currently training crews to man them. The Auxiliary is always in need of volunteers; those interested may call Roger Richter at 608-994-2784. Submitted photo.