Coast Guard

By: News Release
Jul 31st, 2018

Over the July 4th weekend the US Coast Guard Auxiliary was in full force ensuring the safety of boaters and performers at this year’s Riverfest celebration.

Keeping a lane open for boaters transiting the area while also keeping them separated from those participating in the various events fall largely upon the Coast Guard Auxiliary facilities of the second division.

While the weather and the river were not overly friendly this year the Auxiliary still patrolled and used the opportunity for crew training.

One such patrol vessel was the Beverly Marie commanded by Coxswain Harry Schwab of the Lacrosse Flotilla with crewmembers Kevin and Melissa Kadrmas and two trainees including Hal Wilson of the Prairie du Chien Flotilla who joined the crew training program a few weeks prior and was on his first on the water training mission.

Coxswain Schwab reports that they were coming in off a patrol when they were alerted to a vessel in distress out on the river. A pontoon boat with five people on board had lost power, was adrift in the river and unable to maneuver. This is a very dangerous situation as it leaves them unable to avoid dangers including the many barges that operate on the river.

The Beverly Marie responded and took the disabled vessel in a “side tow” safely delivering her to the docks at Pettibone.

An enthusiastic Hal stated that being able to observe this operation first hand taught him more than any simulated training exercise could have. Not to mention the joy of having been able to help a vessel in distress.

Hal Wilson, USCGAUX

Among their many other duties the volunteers of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary are always ready to render assistance on the river. Volunteers are always needed. To learn more visit or contact your local flotilla. In the Prairie du Chien area call Roger 608-994-2784 or Sully 319-290-6403.