U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary halts all missions during partial government shutdown

Their main missions provide safety on the Tennessee River.

Posted: Jan. 9, 2019 9:26 PM
Updated: Jan. 9, 2019 10:47 PM

The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla in Huntsville is yet another local entity being impacted by the partial government shutdown that continues to drag on. The Flotilla was told to stop all missions on the Tennessee River during the shutdown.

Carol Mills is the Commander of the all volunteer Flotilla. She said their main mission on the river is to make sure boaters are being safe, "Life jackets, not drinking on the water," said Mills.

They are also there to help save people if necessary, "Getting anybody out of trouble that gets hung up. Things of that nature," said Mills.

All of that comes to a grinding halt during the shutdown. Mills admits winter is a slow season, but if the shutdown drags on much longer it will greatly impact what they do during a busy spring and summer.

The Flotilla uses their own boats on their missions and are reimbursed for what they do, "Most of our funding comes from the Coast Guard," said Mills.

Right now, they can't even have meetings and if the shutdown lasts much longer they won't be able to be part of the annual boat show at the Von Braun Center where they distribute crucial safety information.

Mills said the Flotilla just wants to see the shutdown end, "The sooner the better and I think that's how everybody feels about the shutdow."

There are five different Flotilla's in North Alabama impacted by the shutdown.

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