On any given Saturday, Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteer Patrick Wheeler can be found providing free vessel safety checks at area boat ramps. That’s right — free. This retiree spends his spare time offering a public service. But judging by some of the responses and comments he receives, you would think he was a paid law enforcement officer, issuing as many tickets as he can in the three hours he spends offering his services.
“Oh, I’ve heard it all,” says Pat, a Florida transplant originally from England. “Some people get real defensive. They think I am going to give them a ticket. So a lot of the time people simply avoid me. But once in a while they really let me know what they think. I’ve heard some interesting comments directed toward me over the years.”
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