August 1, 2019
Three Coast Guard
Stations that protect
Publication of Alton Pool Four (Flotilla 34)
8th Western Rivers Region
LEADERSHIP and STAFF OFFICERS
FSO-CS------------------------ Page 03
FSO-IS------------------------- Page 04
FSO-MT----------------------------- Page 05
FSO-PB------------------------------ Page 06
FSO-PE------------------------------ Page 07
FSO-VE----------------------------- Page 08
VE Checks--------------------------- Page 09
Blessing of the Fleet-------------------- Page 10
Two Page Photo------------------------ Page 12
Wing Dam is a quarterly publication for the members of
the Eighth Western Rivers Region, Flotilla 34 in Electronic
ONLY format and published on the flotilla web site.
Reprints of articles or pictures may be used in other publication
without written permission provided proper credit is
given. Your feedback and contributions would be greatly
appreciated. Please send your comments, articles or feedback
to: Barbara Rhoades, FSO-PB. Address and email
available at AUXOFFICER.
Articles sent no later than
2350 hours on:
It is September! Where has the year gone? Between
a government shutdown and high water,
our year has been very quiet.
The flotilla has worked
diligently on getting everyone
through another round
of CT. We only have one
class left and we are all in
the green. The SO-IS has provided a chart to
visually see where we are. You can print a copy
if you want.
Elections are coming up and Marilyn
and I have put our names in to
continue as VFC and FC for another
year. Both of us are happy to do
so but also would be happy if one of the other
flotilla members wished to step up to either position.
Next year, we will need to have other
members in these positions.
Finally, we need to look hard on getting new
members to be a part of Flotilla
34. All the flotillas in Division 3
are running on minimum numbers
as retirements, moving to another
state or other reasons have reduced our numbers.
When doing VEs, teaching PE classes or
when you do PVs would be the perfect time to
add information on how to join the flotilla. These
are a few suggestions on getting others interested.
I’m sure you can think of other ways as well.
Flotilla Staff Officer-CM
up. A web search will reveal the many uses of
a DSC equipped radio and your radio owners
manual will give you specifics on using it.
Is Public Education limited to simply presenting the
various training programs to the public or is there
more to it than that? I maintain there is more to it
than presenting a training package; we can educate
the public any time we have the opportunity to
discuss boating safety issues. A very good time
is during a vessel exam. Addressing those nonmandatory
items on the vessel exam checklist
is a good time to present to the boater safety
information. Handing out brochures
and discussing those brochures is an
educational process. Are you current
on the new requirements for personal
flotation labeling? Have you reviewed
the 2018 Recreational Boating Statistics?
Keeping abreast of new policies, changes and
statistics makes you a better informed boating
safety specialist. Remember, we are looked at as
boating safety “experts” whenever we interface
with the public. Stay knowledgeable!
Flotilla Staff Officer-CS
This is my last article as FSO-CS. I have stepped
down and hope someone else in the flotilla will
be willing to keep our web viable. There are two
ways to do that.
Be willing to redo the AIRS site we now have
and keep it within the allowed space. Web skills
in WYSIWYG or actual coding is needed for this
What do you know about DSC? What does DSC
stand for? Is it a useful feature of the newer
marine radios? DSC, or Digital Selective Calling,
has a lot of capability. In addition to sending
out an emergency notification, it can be used
to communicate with friends or boaters in other
vessels as a way to locate each other and meet
Change it over to a WOW site. There are no
programming skills needed. It is a plug and play
way of doing a website.
I will cross my fingers that one of the members
will be willing to pick it up.
Flotilla Staff Officer-IS
Flotilla 34 has been doing one of the CT classes at each flotilla meeting. So far, we have done all
but one of the courses. We have Work Force Resilience left and that will be done at the October
meeting. Then the whole flotilla will be on the same timeframe for CT.
Having said that, the chart below shows that four people need Civil Rights Awareness. That had
been scheduled to be done at the May meeting but weather intervened so the meeting was cancelled.
To get those four up to date, a self-attestation will need to be submitted. The training can
be found at http://wow.uscgaux.info/content.php?unit=T-DEPT&category=mandated-training. Either
a PowerPoint or .pdf is available. The videos are not accessible as of this writing.
The self-attestation form can be found at http://wow.uscgaux.info/content.php?unit=T-DEPT&category=self-certification.
Then just send me a copy to enter into AuxData.
As you can see by the charts above, three members haven’t even started the CT and one member
needs to complete the BQC2 course.
Once all those classes are done – CT and BQC2 – the flotilla is 100% complete. I sure would like
to see all the red/orange turn to green.
Flotilla Staff Officer-MT
Core Training Again?
First, it was Mandatory Training, then it became Core Training with an every five-year requirement.
We only have to redo it every five years. The Coast Guard has to redo all these courses every time
they have a station move.
For some of us, the five years are up and we are
starting all over again. To make it easy for everyone,
we have been doing these at our monthly flotilla
meetings. They really don’t take very long and we
have a different instructor each time. This helps everyone
keep their instructor quals.
So far, we’ve completed Civil Rights Awareness, Privacy
Awareness and Prevention of Sexual Harassment
and Security Ed. & Training Awareness. If you
were not able to attend a meeting, it’s easy for you
to take this online at http://wow.uscgaux.info/content.
have a choice of Power Point, PDF or video.
When you’ve completed one or more, fill out the Attestation Form http://tdept.cgaux.org/documents/Mandated_Self_Training_Attestation_rft_5-26-15.pdf.
Then email the form to FSO-IS Barbara
Rhoades. See AuxOfficer for email address if you don’t already know it.
While attending The American Legion National Convention in Indianapolis recently, Flotilla
4 Auxiliarist Larry Miller had a photo opportunity with the US Coast Guard Vice Commandant,
Admiral Charlie Ray. Admiral Ray addressed the convention later in the day.
Flotilla Staff Officer-PA
Valley Park Safety Fair
The heat in St. Louis has been brutal this July.
The Valley Park Safety Fair was the place to cool
off recently with Valley Park Firetrucks, Ambulance,
St. Louis County Police and, of course, the
County Police Helicopter. Kids and parents loved
watching it gently come in on the high school
Inside the cool high school gym were 40 safety
vendors talking about dental hygiene and giving
away toothbrushes with paste and mouthwash.
The kids all got backpacks and free bicycle helmets,
did face painting and even got a short
seminar on bad guy vs you and how to get away
and be safe tactics. Conductor Dan talked about
train safety.There was even a demo on how
much sugar is in your soda.
Of course, our own Flotilla 34, Charles and Marilyn
Aten, talked up water safety at the pool,
lakes and on boats to all that stopped to try on
life jackets. Della Steel organized the event and
thanked the Aten’s for being there the past four
years. It’s a great place to promote water safety
and the kids loved getting our Coast Guard coloring
and activity books. Plus, parents got plenty
of boating safety brochures.
A big draw is MoCHIP. Every year the Missouri
Freemasons offer this program free to all families
as a measure of protection against missing
and abducted children. Just this program alone
brings in over 150 families to the safety fair.
Charles and Marilyn Aten at the Safety Fair in Valley
Park. Photographer unknown.
Flotilla Staff Officer-PB
A new look for the Wing Dam. Please let me
know how you like it. Is it easier to read? Do you
like the two-page photo spread? What about the
colors? Is the Table of Contents easier to use??
This is your magazine; I am just the person who
puts your hard work together.
Let me know what works best
for your reading.
The last page of this magazine is
a trial at what a two-page photo
would be like. Let me know what you think!
Flotilla Staff Officer-PE
Is Public Education limited to simply presenting the various training programs to the public or is there
more to it than that?
I maintain there is more to it than presenting a training package. We can educate the public any
time we have the opportunity to discuss boating safety issues.
A very good time is during a vessel exam. Addressing those non-mandatory items
on the vessel exam checklist is a good time to present the boater safety information.
Handing out brochures and discussing those brochures is an educational process.
Are you current on the new requirements for personal flotation labeling? Have you reviewed the
2018 Recreational Boating Statistics? Keeping abreast of new policies, changes and statistics makes
you a better informed boating safety specialist. Remember, we are looked at as boating safety “experts”.
Flotilla Staff Officer-VE
As I write this, at the end of August, the boating season for many people will come to an end in
the next few weeks. For most, this season went from 4 th of July until the end of August with many
marinas damaged along with many go-to locations along rivers closed or just opening.
The events this year have stopped many people from improving the number of VE’s they perform
or working hard to get five or six.
Again, a whole new group of people will be ready for VE’s in next few weeks: duck hunters and
other outdoor sports people. They think they are not boaters but they use boats as part of their
I wish to thank everyone who worked on VE’s this year. We can only hope the river is tamer next
OTHER ITEMS OF INTEREST
Rear Adm. Paul F. Thomas shares
hands with Rear Adm. John P. Nadeau,
the commander of the Eighth
Coast Guard District, during a change
of command atThe Port of New Orleans
July 23, 2019. (U.S. Coast Guard
Officer 2nd Class Travis Mayee)
Our Lady of the River
courtesy of Dale Williams
VESSEL SAFETY CHECK – MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Ed Lieblein DVC-VE
*Ref: Navigator Express, First Quarter 2017
Each year, I receive questions on the Vessel Safety Check (VSC) program.
What is the program, how long does the examination take and what happens
if I’m missing required safety items. These are valid questions and
part of the one-on-one boater educational exchange. When the VSC decal
is affixed, this indicates all required safety equipment is aboard and functional.
Understanding why the program was started and the impact of the
VSC program should be important to all Vessel Examiners. The program
history and the number of examinations will surprise everyone, and highlight how important the-oneon
one experience is for boaters.
In 1946, the Coast Guard Auxiliary Seventh District, with the approval from Coast Guard, began
offering complimentary exams to motor vessels. The program was expanded the following year
(1947) to include all the districts and was called “Courtesy Boat Inspection”. During the same year,
the Vessel Examination program became one of the four corner stones of the auxiliary.
The role of the examiner became more complicated in 1967 when the Coast Guard reacted to an
increase of fires and explosions on pleasure vessels. They introduced a new set of ventilation standards
for confined spaces and below decks. Examiners had to look at a boat’s intake and exhaust
ducts, and determine if they were large enough, facing in the correct direction and projected far
enough into the engine and fuel tank compartments. The program then evolved with the approval
of sailboats and the name was changed to “Courtesy Marine Examination” in 1972. In 1997 the
auxiliary started issuing “safety checks” to personal water craft and in 2000 the program name was
changed to Vessel Safety Check.*
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Making a difference begins with the one-on-one exchange with the boater. Vessel Examiners (VEs)
are be the experts with all the required federal, state and requirements. Reviewing workshops, bulletins
and auxiliary web sites will help examiners increase their expertise.
Since 1996, the Auxiliary has conducted over three million VSCs. Along with our boating partners,
the United States Power Squadrons (USPS) and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental
Protection (CTDEEP), another 528,000 and 18,000 VSCs have been conducted respectively.
We should all be proud of the contribution that has been made towards promoting boating education
and safe boating.
VESSEL SAFETY CHECK FIGURES
• Auxiliary performed over 3 million VSCs, (including 41,000) Facility Inspections from 1996
through June 2019.
• Auxiliary currently has 4,776 certified VEs.
• Auxiliary performed 213,000 paddle craft VSCs from 2011 - 2019.
• USPS performed 528,000 VECs and 32,400 paddle craft from 2001 – 2018.
• USPS currently has 1,479 current VEs.
• CTDEEP performed 18,500 VSCs from 2012 – 2018 and currently has 13 certified VEs.
Blessing of the Fleet
Celebrated Mardi Gras
FSO-PA Marilyn Aten
Flotilla 34 was honored to have FC Barbara Rhoades as one of the judges for the 62nd Annual
Blessing of the Fleet. Other judges were Commodore Susan Carroll from Con Trios and from
River Bill’s, Marissa Koester and Lauren Walker.
The boat parade was made up of pontoons, cruisers, john boats, PWCs and runabouts with over
50 boats passing the statue of Our Lady of the Rivers Shrine at Portage des Sioux to be blessed
by the pastor of the local Catholic Church.
The Judges Choice Award plaque was presented to five of the best decorated boats with the Mardi
The winning boats are pictured below. Photos courtesy of Marilyn Aten.
And Flotilla 34
Photographer Maureen and
The Father Blessing
Photographer Marilyn Aten
River Bill and his girls
Photographer Maureen and
Photographer Maureen and Darryll
Washington DC Coast Guard Station