Four members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary’s Flotilla 13-8 left the dock on the morning of Jan. 12 to support drills performed by the Coast Guard’s Air Station Miami off the shores of Islamorada. A Eurocopter MH-65 Dolphin helicopter first arrived on scene as Coast Guard members performed various rescue drills. With David Gross at the helm, auxiliary members provided perimeter support through the duration of the drill, which saw members jumping into the water. Flying in next was an HC-144 Ocean Sentry, a twin-engine turboprop used by the Coast Guard, to perform package drops. With the drop of a flare, the aircraft threw a large orange container, large yellow bags and message bottles. Auxiliary members retrieved the dropped items and brought them back to the Coast Guard station in Islamorada. The drills lasted just over an hour. Serving the Upper Keys from Key Largo to Long Key, Flotilla 13-8 is one of the more active fleets within the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. Not only do they provide support to Coast Guard air stations, but they also provide boater safety education and perform vessel safety checks. 

Coast Guard auxiliary member Jim Doran shares a “good morning” with a Coast Guard vessel.
A Coast Guard member descends from a helicopter to perform a rescue drill.
Gilbarty and Latham successfully retrieve the orange crate.
A Coast Guard aircraft flies over the water near the auxiliary’s patrol boat as it prepares to drop a large orange crate.
Coast Guard Auxiliary Patrol members prepare to assist and support Air Station Miami with drills on the morning of Jan. 12 off the Islamorada shores near Snake Creek. Pictured from left are David Gross, longtime auxiliary member; John Gilbarty, Flotilla 13-8 commander; Glenn Latham, trainee; and Jim Doran, 5-year auxiliary member.
Auxiliary member David Gross drives over to the orange crate following a successful drop by Coast Guard members aboard the HC-144 Ocean Sentry, a twin-engine turboprop.
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