South Carolina USCG Auxiliarists Receive Achievement Awards


USCG Auxiliary Program Visitors received RBS Lighthouse awards on January 13, 2018, in recognition of exemplary performance and service in promoting boating safety. From left: Joe Livingston, Division 12 Commander (South Carolina units); RBS Lighthouse Award recipients Robert Weskerna, Eric Hurlin and Tomas Bagdas, and District 7 Commodore Judith Hudson. Photo by Barbara Burchfield, USCG Auxiliary.

Four South Carolina U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary members were honored for outstanding performance achievements in the District 7 Recreational Boating Safety (RBS) program on January 13, 2018, during a quarterly meeting at Litchfield Beach & Golf Resort in SC.

The new 2018 “Lighthouse Award” recognizes members trained and certified as Program Visitors for completing 1,000 or more visits to RBS program partners. A partner is a marina, marine dealer or other business that is interested in promoting recreational boating safety to its customers at its business location.

Program Visitors provide a wide range of boating safety literature, safety alerts, recall notices, and information to partners for the benefit of boaters and paddle craft operators. The informational resources are placed at partner business locations and are free to the public. With each visit to a partner business, there is a ten-fold or more expectation of reaching a boat owner or operator with important safety information.

Of the first thirty-six Auxiliary members to achieve this prestigious award, four are from South Carolina. Cited for exemplary performance by completing 1,000 or more program visits were Tomas M. Bagdas (1239 visits) and Eric G. Hurlin (1202 visits) from Flotilla 12-4 Central Grand Strand, and Margaret McCarty (1835 visits) and Commodore Robert Weskerna (7198 visits) from Flotilla 12-6 East Cooper.

This notable achievement was named the Lighthouse Award which associates the similar objective to provide safe passage to mariners by providing the information and knowledge to make good decisions. Like the lighthouse, Auxiliary Program Visitors work year-round to promote boating safety. Their outreach efforts help to inform and educate boaters with the expectation and hope to reduce accidents, loss of lives and loss of property.

The Lighthouse Award certificates were presented by Commodore Judith Hudson at the meeting on behalf of USCG Auxiliary District 7 which covers South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and its Program Visitors are the volunteer component of the U.S. Coast Guard. The U.S. Coast Guard tasks the Auxiliary with promoting recreational boating safety through its partner visitation program, public education courses and vessel safety checks and other programs. Visit to learn more about our maritime safety and Auxiliary programs.