Members of Flotilla 75.

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 75 in Apollo Beach received the Coast Guard Unit Commendation at its October monthly meeting from the commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard in Washington D.C.

Boaters in Tampa Bay are definitely familiar with the U.S. Coast Guard, but some may not be as familiar with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. The Auxiliary is the civilian volunteer organization of the U.S. Coast Guard. It has a similar mission as the regular Coast Guard and members get the same training as the regular Coast Guard.

The difference is that the activities of the Auxiliary are all done on a volunteer basis. This award demonstrates the recognition by the commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard of the work that is provided by the Auxiliary.

The award was given to Flotillas in the Seventh and Eighth Districts, which includes the Tampa Bay area, of the U.S. Coast Guard.

The citation reads: “For exceptionally meritorious service from June 24, 2014 to June 23, 2019 while providing extraordinary levels of public service and support to the U.S. Coast Guard.” The citation also indicates that during Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the Auxiliary provided over 19,000 hours of vital support to the Seventh and Eighth Coast Guard Districts.

It also conducted over 977,000 vessel safety checks and marine dealer visits. It delivered over 133,000 hours of boating safety courses, logged nearly 17 million hours of support, saved over 700 lives, assisted over 19,700 boaters in distress and prevented the loss of more than $101 million in property.

Members of the Auxiliary are authorized to wear a ribbon indicating their professionalism, pride and devotion to duty in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

For information about the Auxiliary or on how to become a member, visit Flotilla75.org or its Facebook page. You are also welcome to attend its monthly meeting on the fourth Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Tampa Sailing Squadron building located at 1250 Apollo Beach Blvd.

For more information, please contact Flotilla Commander Steve Browning at 314-853-3932 or browning99@hotmail.com.