Great Lakes Shipmate of the Week: Auxiliarist John Steinbarge, Flotilla 02-01, Phoenix, N.Y.

For well over a decade John Steinbarge has devoted countless hours to the Coast Guard and to his community of Central New York. Steinbarge, a Coast Guard Auxiliary member assigned to Flotilla 02-01, based in Phoenix, New York, has selflessly served with the auxiliary for many years.

Steinbarge attended the Coast Guard Ninth District Auxiliary Eastern Region change of watch ceremony in the summer of 2011. US Coast Guard Photo.

Steinbarge attended the Coast Guard Ninth District Auxiliary Eastern Region change of watch ceremony in the summer of 2011.
US Coast Guard Photo.

He routinely goes above and beyond all expectation when augmenting and assisting the active and reserve workforce at Coast Guard Station Oswego, New York. He holds several certifications including: auxiliary coxswain, communications watchstander, team coordination training facilitator, recreational boating safety instructor, auxiliary vessel examiner and also serves as a vessel safety examiner. Earning these certifications allows Steinbarge to stand watch, affording the opportunity for active duty members to spend additional time with their families.Every Wednesday, Steinbarge reports to Station Oswego to stand a communications watch. Additionally, he volunteers to man the Rescue 21 towers during the monthly maintenance sessions. In the spring of 2012, Steinbarge volunteered to help crew the Station’s 47-foot response boat for its 9-day voyage from Detroit to Oswego, a rigorous task totaling more than 30 hours underway.As a coxswain, Steinbarge has volunteered to patrol several marine events including the Onondaga Lake boat races, Independence Day firework displays, as well as the Seneca River Day events. He also served as an evaluator onboard a fire boat during the Oneida Lake search and rescue exercise that was held during the summer of 2012.For over 10 years Steinbarge has educated the community by conducting boating safety courses throughout Central New York. He also serves as a vessel examiner and has been routinely inspecting recreational vessels for over 12 years. When he is not engaged in public boater safety education, he is training active and reserve Coast Guard members and serves as a team coordination training facilitator.

Steinbarge 2Steinbarge is always looking for new ideas to help others. During the CNY Boat Show of 2011, a gentleman approached Steinbarge to seek information on types and uses of lifejackets. After brainstorming the best way to demonstrate the different types and uses of lifejackets, Steinbarge decided to start a safety demonstration using a water pool. Since then, he has coordinated several static safety displays using pools that help display the importance of lifejackets.

After observing one of Steinbarge’s displays at the Empire Farm Days event, a gentleman approached Steinbarge to thank him for what he does. Additionally, the man told Steinbarge that his display had a profound impact on him and his family. He now ensures that he now has adequate lifejackets for everyone on his vessel.

“It is safe to say that because of Steinbarge’s devotion to the Coast Guard and to his community, the waterways of New York are a safer place,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Frank Benetka, Station Oswego’s executive petty officer.

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