By Bruce Claflin, Scuttlebutt Magazine
Just as we say goodbye with thanks to Joe Riley as the Manager at Windmill Marina in Afton, MN., it is with equal vigor that we welcome Jim Clemens to the same post there. Clemens, and his wife Tammy come to the St. Croix River Valley from Brookings, Oregon where he recently retired from the U.S. Coast Guard after 30 years of meritorious service.
Clemens has held Coast Guard positions from Coxswain, and Surfman, to Officer in Charge at several Motor Lifeboat Stations, and he has more than a little experience with the ways of rivers. He has overseen Coast Guard activities at the Chetco River Station in Oregon, and commanded the Rogue River Search and Rescue detachment on Oregon’s Coast. He was Officer In Charge at the Umpquah River Station which is home to an extremely hazardous breaking bar.
Clemens also spent several years as Surfman Instructor at the National Motor Lifeboat School at Cape Disappointment, WA.. In his capacity there, he worked at training the crews of the Coast Guard’s 47’ Motor Lifeboats in some of the West Coast’s most treacherous waters. Jim chaired the Coast Guard’s Boat Forces Advisory Council, and in 2012 was awarded the title as the Coast Guard’s Ancient Keeper. The Ancient Keeper title is given in recognition of longevity in command of a Boat Force and outstanding performance in boat operations. The title is named after Coast Guard legend Joshua James, who is credited with saving more than 600 lives. Clemen’s relinquished this title with his retirement as a Master Chief Petty Officer from the Coast Guard in 2015.
Jim’s earliest memories were on the water and his career path and achievements are testament that he is as knowledgeable about boating and water safety as he is passionate about both. Jim is excited to be a part of our River community, and he and Tammy are delighted to be closer to their daughter who is starting a family nearby. Together, Jim and his wife love to be near the water and enjoy gardening whenever they can find the time. Jim is also an avid outdoorsman that loves to fish and hunt. He looks forward to the time they’ll have in our river valley and confesses that catching a sturgeon, a muskie, and even a northern pike are all on his Minnesota and Wisconsin fishing bucket list.
Please help us at Scuttlebutt welcome Jim and the Clemens Family to the area. His on-the-water knowledge and experience will be a great asset to all the folks who visit Windmill Marina, and to our larger river “community” as well!