The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, the volunteer, civilian branch of the U.S. Coast Guard, recently began helping to patrol San Pablo Bay as part of a partnership with the Richmond Police Department’s Marine Unit.
“Due to reductions in local marine police units and security manpower, the Auxiliary now provides additional ‘eyes and ears’ on the water,” according to a statement from the Auxiliary’s Division 5, which boasts more than 200 members in Contra Costa, Napa, Solano and Sonoma counties.
Auxiliary members will keep watch for suspicious activity, distress calls or disabled boaters to report to the Coast Guard at Sector San Francisco. Division 5 Commander Thomas Sarnicols recently met with Richmond police Sgt. Felix Tan to review local charts and devise a patrol schedule (see photo below).
This is not the Auxiliary’s first patrol assignment. Members also patrol Lakes Sonoma and Berryessa, the Napa River and throughout the Delta, officials said.
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary was created in June 1939 in order to assist active duty Coast Guard in ensuring safety on U.S. waterways. The organization sponsors boating safety classes, recreational vessel examinations and other tasks unrelated to law enforcement.
For those interested in becoming members (must be over age 17) visit www.cgaux or call 510-685-5146. Prior military experience is not required.