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Since its creation by Congress in 1939, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary has served as the civilian, non-military component of the Coast Guard. Today, the 30,000 volunteer men and women of the Auxiliary are active on the waterways and classrooms in over 2,000 cities and towns across the nation.  USCG Auxiliary is now part of the Department of Homeland Security. 

Vessel safety checks, harbor patrols, safe boating courses, search and rescue, and marine environmental protection are among the services these dedicated volunteers provide to our nation’s boater’s.  They provide their own equipment and time and they do not get paid.  Nationwide they bring over 5000 boats, 250 aircraft and 3000 shore radio stations to assist the US Coast Guard in its duties.  Auxiliarists do get a high degree of sophisticated training and plenty of satisfaction for having taken part.  

Each year, Auxiliarists save almost 500 lives, assist some 15,000 boaters in distress, conduct more than 150,000 courtesy safety examinations of recreational vessels, and teach over 500,000 students in boating and water safety courses. The results of these efforts saves taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars every year. 

The courtesy vessel safety checks alone can save an individual boater up to $1100 in fines if you do not have the minimum required equipment onboard.  They will inspect your vessel, talk you through the equipment you have or need to acquire, and provide a sticker for your boat when you pass. 

The motto “Semper Paratus” means always ready.  To learn how you can join or to learn about the courses offered, please visit  

To download a sample float plan created by the USCG Auxiliary in pdf format, please click here.

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