Mayor declares June as Coast Guard Auxiliary month

By Mike Steely

Senior Writer

The local United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla has been called “Knoxville First” because it was one of the first groups of private boat owners to organize. Founded in 1939 as the Coast Guard Reserve, the national organization became the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in 1941.

Last Thursday members of the local auxiliary flotilla were invited to a special presentation in the Knoxville Mayor’s Office where Mayor Indya Kincannon honored them on the organization’s 85th year anniversary by declaring June as U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Month.

Auxiliary officer Shane Lawson was presented the proclamation and officers Tim Scoggins and Mike Miller also attended.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary comprises boat owners who do volunteer work, promote boating safety and help in the operations of the Coast Guard. The group has been meeting at Fort Loudoun Yacht Club for more than 50 years and serves on nearby lakes, rivers and reservoirs. When needed, the auxiliary also performs safety patrols.

Mayor Kincannon chatted with the auxiliary members about their occasional appearance in the Tennessee River behind the City-County Building and had several other questions.

The unit is part of the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s Division 12 which covers Northeast Tennessee and Southeastern Kentucky with four flotillas. The auxiliary is seen as the Coast Guard’s primary outreach arm.

Water surface operations patrol 163 miles of waterways on the Tennessee, Little Tennessee, Clinch and Emory rivers. Recreational lakes patrolled include Boone, South Holston, Cherokee, Douglas and Norris lakes in Tennessee and Laurel Lake in Kentucky.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary is always looking for qualified members and more information is available from Donald J. Rifkin, public affairs officer, at 954-347-7912 or Recruits must be at least 17 or older and pass a federal security check.  Information is available at