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  • Feature Story
  • What's New in Reno Flotilla 3
  • Reno Flotilla Leadership

Search and Rescue Exercise at Lake Tahoe

July 23rd was clear and warm, a good day for the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Civil Air Patrol and the Coast Guard to conduct a joint exercise at Lake Tahoe. This exercise was conceived by Reno Auxiliarist Peter Rast and planned with the help of the Nevada Wing of the Civil Air Patrol and Coast Guard Station Lake Tahoe.

This goal of this exercise was to demonstrate the utility of an aircraft in finding disabled boaters at Lake Tahoe. The Civil Air Patrol, the civilian component of the Air Force, launched an aircraft from Minden, Nevada and was tasked with locating a "disabled" boat. Reno Flotilla's facility, "the Melroy" served as the disabled vessel.

CAP flight

The Civil Air Patrol's Cessna N9844E is a "high wing" aircraft which allows much better visibility of search objects on the ground or in this case, on the water. The CAP plane was on scene over Lake Tahoe looking for the Melroy within 20 minutes of first notification. Crew on the Melroy waved flags, floatation cushions and shot off flares, just like any boater would do if they were in distress.

flare shooting from the Melroy

Reno Auxiliarist Robin Morgan shoots off a flare to signal the CAP aircraft. Once the CAP plane located the Auxiliary Vessel, they notified Peter Rast, our communications officer who then gave a bearing to the Coast Guard boat who located the Melroy.

Ahsam with Flare

Auxiliarist Brian Ah Sam using a handheld flare to signal the Coast Guard vessel.

Tom Temkin with flare

Reno Auxiliarist Tom Temkin signalling the Coast Guard boat.

Coast Guard on Scene

Coast Guard Station Lake Tahoe boat on scene and ready to assist any boater that might be in distress.



Pyramid Lake Patrol

Pyramid Lake Patrol on Reno Flotilla 3 Vessel, The Melroy

Reno Auxiliarists, Brian Ah Sam (L) and Keith White (R) patrol Pyramid Lake. Pyramid Lake is well known to have changing weather and sea conditions. Many boaters under estimate the hazards at this lake. The Reno Flotilla regularly does maritime observation patrols at the lake assisting boaters who may be in distress. Flotilla members patrolling Pyramid are well equipped to patrol the lake. Cold weather exposure suits, distress mirrors, personal locator beacons and whistles are some of the equipment Auxiliarists take on patrol to maximize their safety so that they may better assist the publi

Presentation of Award at Plumas County Board of Supervisors Meeting

Operation Safe Boat Award Presented at Plumas County Board of Supervisor's Meeting

During a meeting of the Plumas County Board of Supervisors in November of 2015, Reno Auxiliarist Peter Rast (L) presents a Boating Safety Award to Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood (center) and Assistant Sheriff Gerry Hendrick (R). The Plumas County Board of Supervisors (background) stand behind (both literally and figuratively!) Hagwood and Hendrick who were supportive of Operation Safe Boat conducted at Lake Almanor. Thanks to Sheriff Hagwood, Assistant Sheriff Hendrick, and the Plumas County Board of Supervisors, the event was a tremendous success! Our Flotilla looks forward to participating in this annual event.

Operation Safe Boat Award

Retired Plumas County Sheriff's Office Boating Safety Deputy

Bud Wasson (center) receives a Boating Safety Award from Reno Auxiliarists Peter Rast (L) and Keith White (R). Bud was a Reserve Deputy Sheriff & Boat Patrol Officer with the Plumas County Sheriff's Department. In 2013, he along with Reno Flotilla's Peter Rast and Keith White, were instrumental in starting the first Operation Safe Boat event. The California Highway Patrol, the National Forest Service, the California Department of Fish and Game and Pacific Gas & Electric also helped with the event. One of the main core tasks of the Coast Guard Auxiliary is Recreational Boating Safety. During Operation Safe Boat, the group conducted voluntary boat and trailer checks at Lake Almanor. Lake Almanor is the fifth largest lake in California. Since the first event, the Reno Flotilla has annually participated in Operation Safe Boat.

Stand Up Paddle Board Race at Lake Tahoe

Reno Auxiliarist Tom Temkin looks for paddleboarders in distress

The annual Fall Classic Stand Up Paddleboard race was held amidst smoke filled skies on September 13th at Lake Tahoe. Reno Auxiliarist Tom Temkin watches for paddleboarders in distress. Later during the event, a paddleboarder was found five miles from the finish line who was exhausted and complained of muscle cramps. He asked for help since he was unable to complete the race. Temkin and Reno Auxiliarist Tom Komadina helped the paddleboarder onto Reno Flotilla 3's boat, The Melroy, and transported the paddleboarder to the nearest safe harbor at Kings Beach.

Gear for Stand Up Paddleboard Participants

Stand Up Paddle Board Racer in 2015 Fall Classic at Lake Tahoe

The waters at Lake Tahoe can be unforgiving. Last year a paddleboarder drowned after he fell off his paddleboard 100 yards off shore near Sand Harbor. He was not tethered to his paddleboard as this boarder is. The paddleboard drifted away and he was unable to catch up to the board. In addition, he was not wearing a life jacket. This boarder is well prepared for the race. He has a life jacket attached to his waist, a tether to his paddleboard so that should he fall off it will not drift away from him, and he has a water supply on his back so as to rehydrate during the race.

This years race was complicated by markedly limited visibility. The smoke from fires in California have drifted over the lake and visibility was limited for most of the day to less than one nautical mile. Some race participants lost their way and the four Coast Guard Auxiliary boats helped direct them.

Reno Facility, The Melroy

During the last two weeks of June, members of the Reno Flotilla worked on the hull of The Melroy. The Melroy is a 1986 Boston Whaler and was in need of a new hull coating and graphics. Nine members of the flotilla sanded the hull, filled in redundant through hull penetrations and recoated it with four coats of an epoxy barrier coat the following weekend. The boat was then taken to a sign painter for new graphics. We are proud of the results and this should keep our search and rescue boat in good condition for years to come.

Tom Temkin, Keith White and Ron Kelley observe the Melroy being lifted so that the entire hull could be sanded

Keith White (L), Tom Temkin (middle) and Ron Kelley (R) observe as Mike Lawrence carefully raises the Melroy so that it can be blocked and the hull completely sanded.

Keith White and Mike Lawrence discuss the sanding of the hull

Mike Lawrence (L) and Keith White (R) discuss the sanding of the hull of the Melroy.

Ron Kelley does fiberglass repair on a redundant through hull penetration

Ron Kelley repairs a previous through hull penetration that was allowing water to enter the core of the hull. Ron previously worked at a marine repair shop in Connecticut and ably repaired our boat for us.

Thanks to Reno Flotilla members John Boyne, Mike Lawrence, Ron Kelley, Tom Komadina, Bryce Leinan, Bill Stolz, Keith White, Tom Temkin and Paul Miner for getting the boat back in great condition!



Reno Flotilla 3 Leadership 2016

The Reno Flotilla is fortunate to have experienced leadership. John Boyne is our Flotilla Commander while Bryce Leinan is our Vice Flotilla Commander. Both John and Bryce are long time members of the Reno Flotilla.

John Boyne Flotilla Commander

John Boyne has been in the Reno Flotilla since 1998. He has held many positions during that time period including Flotilla Commander for the Reno Flotilla and Division Commander for the Sierra Division. John is active in the operational side of our flotilla and is a Coxswain. Besides holding the job as Flotilla Commander, John also is our Public Education and Member Training officer. He also has expertise in radio communications and is the Sierra Division's Communcations Officer.

Bryce Leinan, Vice Flotilla Commander

Bryce Leinan is our Vice Flotilla Commander. Bryce has been a member of the Reno Flotilla since 2011. In addition to his duties as our Vice Flotilla Commander, Bryce is also a radio communications operator, a vessel safety examiner and performs recreational boating safety visits in our region. Bryce also holds the offices of Diversity, Public Affairs and Secretary in our Flotilla.



Reno Flotilla Missions

Some of the primary missions of the flotilla include Public Education and Training, offering Safety Patrols for a variety of on-the-water events, Aids to Navigation Verification, Vessel Safety Checks, and Member Training.

As a member of the Flotilla, you can participate in supporting these and other missions.  The rewards from membership include the honor of working as an integral part of and alongside the United States Coast Guard, providing service to the boating community, getting great traiing and experience, and enjoying the fellowship of the Auxiliary.

Join the Flotilla

The Reno Flotilla is a volunteer organization. We are supported by the United States Coast Guard and other local agencies such as the Nevada Department of Wildlife, and by the generous contributions of our members. We strive to promote boating safety through our rigorous training and dedication to service.

You can become a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. Contact our Human Resource staff officer listed on the Staff Officer List.

Next Business Meeting

Business meetings are scheduled for the third Wednesday of each month at 7 PM at the Truckee Meadows Water Authority Building. These are public meetings. You are always invited to attend and meet the members and officers of the Flotilla as our guests.  See the Flotilla Calendar for specific dates.