Monday, 20 May 2024

Flotilla 8-8 of Lake County holds change of watch ceremony

Lt. Matt Hardgrove swears in Harry De Lope, center, as commander and Dane Hayward, left, as Vice Commander for Flotilla 8-8 for 2009. Courtesy photo.



COBB – On Dec. 7, 2008, the official change of watch for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 8-8 of Lake County was held at Rob Roy’s Restaurant in Cobb.

This official ceremony is performed annually to transfer the chain of responsibility to the new commander, vice commander and flotilla staff officers.

Representing the U.S. Coast Guard from Group Humboldt Coast Guard Station was Lt. J.G. Matt Hardgrove and BMC Stacy Brown.

A special table was set aside with a white tablecloth, black napkin, a burning candle, white gloves and a hat honoring FSO Allan F. Bride which signifies a missing man who has “passed over the bar.”

Following lunch, outgoing Commander Betty Strach presented numerous awards for the auxiliary members including Auxiliarist of the Year award which went to Harry De Lope.

Members were pleased to hear that Flotilla 8-8 won the prestigious award of Division Flotilla of the Year. To add humor to the otherwise official ceremony, outgoing Commander Betty was “roasted” by Elvis himself.

Lt. Hardgrove was the installing officer for the change of watch and prior to beginning the swearing in of new officers, he thanked the auxiliarists for contributing hundreds of volunteer hours in assisting and educating the boating public, and the numerous Search and Rescue missions.

Harry De Lope was sworn in as flotilla commander for 2009 and Dane Hayward took office as vice commander. The 2009 Flotilla staff officers were then sworn in by Lt. Hardgrove.

The hundreds of Flotillas nationwide which make up the auxiliaries serve under the auspices of the U.S. Coast Guard. Both function under the direction of the Homeland Security Department. The value of the auxiliary to the U.S. Coast Guard is $200 million annually. This reflects an 11-1 return of investment.

The Lake County Flotilla has 49 members who have contributed 9,898 volunteer hours for 2008 as of Dec. 1.

Your Flotilla will be ready when the boating season arrives to once again assist in search and rescue, educate the boating public, and work to insure Safe Boating on Clear Lake for the coming year.




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