Reliability, Performance, Compliance


It all began with seeing flares

Don Zinner

It all began with the sighting of emergency flares.

Now, some 20 years later, Don Zinner is taking command of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary’s Response and Prevention Group, one of the most active in the service.

Don Zinner saw some flares fired over the water at Islamorada, Florida, nearly 20 years ago, while on his deck. He called the Islamorada Coast Guard station and helped direct the station’s response boat to the location.

The following day, Don Zinner was asked to see the station officer who told him he had helped save the lives of a father and his boys in a sinking boat and recruited him into the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Now, Don has been appointed the auxiliary’s Assistant National Commodore. He is now in charge of the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s Response, Prevention,  Incident Management & Preparedness and International Affairs directorates, the reports.

As well being an experienced boater, Don Zinner is a private pilot. He has flown support missions for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary to help Hurricane Katrina victims in New Orleans and during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

He was later promoted auxiliary staff officer for aviation and national staff-training director and was awarded the Auxiliary Legion of Merit for outstanding service.

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Nov 02, 2018