Great Lakes Shipmate of the Week: Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Nosbaum, Marine Safety Detachment Sturgeon Bay, Wis.


Petty Officer Nosbaum investigating a mystery spill in Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment (MSD) Sturgeon Bay is a ten person unit found in beautiful Door County, Wis.  Although small compared to the neighboring Coast Guard station and buoy tender, the work accomplished by the MSD is nothing short of extraordinary.  Part of the unit is made up of Marine Inspectors that spend the majority of their time inspecting the multitude of lake freighters that moor at local shipyards.  This mission is integral to the economic stability of the entire region.  The remainder of the unit is comprised of one reserve and three active duty Marine Science Technicians (MST).  The MSTs are charged with inspecting close to thirty facilities for applicable security and pollution prevention regulations.  They also respond to pollution threats in an expansive area of responsibility that extends over 300 miles of shoreline along Northwestern Lake Michigan and Green Bay.  The MSTs also conduct voluntary dockside examinations for the local charter and commercial fishing vessel fleets.


Petty Officer Nosbaum leading a boom exercise during HAZWOPER training in Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

At the MSD, one member that always rises to meet any challenge is Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Nosbaum, a marine science technician.  Hailing from Woodstock, Illinois, Nosbaum arrived at MSD Sturgeon Bay in the summer of 2011.  He enlisted in the Coast Guard in 2005 and his previous units include Marine Safety Detachment Humboldt Bay and Coast Guard Cutter Henry Blake. While at MSD Humboldt Bay, Nosbaum responded to the Cosco Busan oil spill and to the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami in Crescent City, CA.  He also had the opportunity to earn certification as a Federal On-Scene Coordinator’s Representative (FOSCR). His vast experience has been essential in spill response and training for the unit.  Shortly after arriving at MSD Sturgeon Bay, Nosbaum was able to put his training to use, acting as the FOSCR in the Oak Creek Power Plant Bluff failure, a 600 gallon potential oil spill located just outside of Milwaukee, WI. 

Since reporting to MSD Sturgeon Bay, Nosbaum has also earned his Facility Inspector certification.  His initiative led to the unit’s ability to certify two more MSTs who recently reported.  Nosbaum is also the only commercial fishing vessel examiner at the unit. 

Nosbaum’s marine safety expertise led him to earn the permanent Marine Safety Insignia this past summer.  He is a OSHA Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) instructor and is charged with training six CG units (four small boat stations, Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay, and MSD Sturgeon Bay).  This past July, Nosbaum stood duty during the Army Corps of Engineers testing of the fish barrier in Chicago, Ill., helping to coordinate shipping traffic in the channel. On several occasions he volunteered his free time to visit the local high school to answer questions about the Coast Guard from students interesting in joining our service.

Petty Officer Nosbaum running a marine pollution educational activity for children at National Safe Boating Week 2012 festivities in Green Bay, Wis.


A family man, Nosbaum enjoys spending time with his wife and two children. He is also an avid whitewater enthusiast, strives to spend time outdoors fishing, and enjoys sharing his outdoor adventures with others.