Coast Guard Auxiliary has search and rescue training

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -  Rescue boats were dispatched for miles up and down the Tennessee River as a group perfects their safety duties.

Yearly training makes sure the U. S.  Coast Guard Auxiliary is tight on their skills to keep the Tennessee River guarded.

The river is the southern border of Redstone Arsenal. Six boats and proud auxiliary members have a fabricated mission.

"We're going to be practicing search and rescue," said Dawson Mabry, auxiliary information services officer. "We're going to practicing other seamenship on the water. A major part of the exercise is we have simulated targets: person in the water, ice chest, propane tank."

The auxiliary is completely made up of volunteers. They supply their own boats and their own time, and the coast guard supports them with fuel and other materials

With 30,000 members, they patrol the waterways every weekend for boating accidents, someone going overboard or needing assistance. On the south end of the local military installation, they have to keep an extra eye out.

"[We have] to observe the river to see if any kind of activity that may be threatening not only to the arsenal but to society," said Larry McFall, vice commander for the local auxiliary.

In addition to preserving safety, the auxiliary also teaches safety to the boating community. It is made up primarily of retired military personnel but civilians also make up part of the group.