Key Peninsula native elected flotilla commander


Irene Torres, KP News

One of Key Peninsula’s own, Kerry Jamieson, has been elected regional commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 3-5, “The Narrows,” which extends through Puget Sound, down Colvos Passage from Blake Island to Olympia.

He begins his duty in January with “The Narrows,” one of five flotillas with 150 members in the region.

Jamieson was looking for an opportunity for volunteer service after the terror attack on Sept. 11, 2001. The Coast Guard Auxiliary, the volunteer arm of the U.S. Coast Guard, was a perfect fit, since Jamieson comes from a line of boating families. Both sets of his grandparents were homesteaders at Rosedale and Vaughn. One grandfather operated a marine freight transport, “The Loren,” from Vaughn to Tacoma, Olympia and Seattle, as part of the famous Mosquito Fleet. His father worked in Gig Harbor for Skansie Boat Building for many years.

Jamieson’s boat is certified by the Coast Guard and his name is on the “first responders” list, a geographical picture of local resources available for quick response to boating emergencies.

“I was born and raised on the Key Peninsula and know my way around, day and night,” he said. “That will cut down the response time for local marine environmental problems, oil spills or craft sinkings.”

A self-described “jack of all trades,” Jamieson is an environmental specialist for the Halroyd Company, Inc., of Tacoma. He works with the Department of Natural Resources on reclamation of ground water after active gravel mines are closed.

The Auxiliary is an all-volunteer organization with the primary mandate to promote boat safety and education. Its extensive training regimen has been modeled after regular Coast Guard programs.

Members conduct free vessel examination safety checks to make sure federal regulations are met—an important aspect due to danger of combustible fuels and carbon monoxide emissions that can silently kill boaters.

The Auxiliary teaches boating safety classes and endorses life-jacket inspections for its exchange program, a partnership with the state’s Department of Boating and Waterways to replace old and unserviceable jackets.

While on patrol, Auxiliary members act in an official capacity. They operate under military orders, but use private vessels, equipped with special gear. Members are reimbursed for actual costs incurred while on patrol, including fuel and meals.

“I’m happy to be elected to this position because I think it brings boating safety closer to the local community, where every other person either owns a boat or goes boating at one time or another,” Jamieson said.

The Auxiliary

The Coast Guard Auxiliary is always looking for new members to help promote boating safety and conduct search and rescue missions. For more information, contact Kerry Jamieson at 884-3691.