Lake Tahoe Coast Guard Auxiliary looking for members |

Lake Tahoe Coast Guard Auxiliary looking for members

From left, Ed York, Dane Englekirk and Harmen Lyzenga of the Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Charles Whisnand/Nevada Appeal

The South Lake Tahoe Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla wants you.

The auxiliary unit which assists the U.S. Coast Guard with making sure the conditions at Lake Tahoe are as safe as possible is recruiting people to join its unit. The auxiliary unit isn’t a law enforcement or military organization and you didn’t have to serve in the Coast Guard to join.

Anyone who’s 17 or older can join the unit. The South Tahoe Flotilla now has 23 members with the oldest member who’s now 87 and is looking for more members.

So for just the dues of $55 a year, you can help the Coast Guard to keep Lake Tahoe safe. The South Lake Tahoe flotilla meets the third Tuesday every month at 7 p.m. at the Tahoe-Douglas Senior Station next to the fire station on Highway 50 in Zephyr Cove.

And since this week has been National Safe Boating Week, which runs from May 20 through 26, the importance of what the auxiliary unit does is driven home.

“It saves lives,” said Harmen Lyzenga, a South Lake Tahoe Flotilla member about what the unit helps to do.

The mission statement of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary states: “is to contribute to the safety and security of our citizens, ports, waterways and coastal regions.”

South Lake Tahoe Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla Commander Dana Englekirk put it best when she said, “We’re basically the eyes and hands of the Coast Guard.”

Along with helping the Coast Guard keep Lake Tahoe safe the auxiliary has also assisted in events at Lake Tahoe such as the Trans-Tahoe Swim, paddle board racing and the Independence Day fireworks. The auxiliary unit has also provided assistance at Walker Lake, Pyramid Lake and Topaz Lake.

In addition the auxiliary does free vessel inspections at the Coast Guard station in Tahoe City. “It’s a very, very thorough inspection,” Lyzenga said.

Ed York, former vice division commander who’s still a member of the South Lake Tahoe Auxiliary, said what the auxiliary does is invaluable. “We save the taxpayers millions of dollars,” he said.

Those who apply for the auxiliary do obviously go through boat safety training. There is a boating safety course at Cabela’s north of Reno on June 1 that those who are interested in joining the auxiliary can use for their training.

Those who are interested in joining the auxiliary or want more information can call Englekirk, 805-720-7260 or Lyzenga, 775-720-0808.

Members of the auxiliary will also be at Sportsman Warehouse on Saturday from 9 a.m. to closing to provide information.