Sunday, January 7, 2024

Flotilla Has New Commander

Sara Barden
Sara Barden of Durhamville is the new commander of the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s Sylvan Beach Flotilla 26. Elected to a one-year term, Barden was previously vice flotilla commander. She also has served a recreational boating safety program visitor as well as a diversity officer for the flotilla and Central New York Division 2.

Raised in the St. Lawrence River area in Jefferson County, Barden said she has “always spent time on the water since I can remember,” helping her father work on his boat and becoming adept at sailing. “I relish my time on the water,” especially sailing “my 18-foot Oday”

A graphic artist by trade, she holds a BFA from SUNY Oswego and works at Seifert Graphics in Oriskany.

She also has put her art degree to work with her love for drawing and painting, having done commissioned artwork over the years and having won awards at various art shows.

Barden noted that the Sylvan Beach Flotilla operates under Coast Guard Station Oswego’s area of responsibility, covering the eastern half of Oneida Lake during the boating season. In the off-season, some members undergo operational training to be able to conduct safety patrols and search-and-rescue while other members prepare for conducting recreational boating safety classes and boat safety inspections, among other duties.

Sara Barden
Flotilla Commander Sara Barden
“We are looking for a few more good members because we have a lot of roles to fill,” she added. “No matter what one’s interest, chances are we have a role for that, and we provide Coast Guard-certified training, to boot.”

She gave a few examples.

“You want to become a coxswain or boat crew member? We’ll train you. Do you like to teach? We need good instructors. Do you like paddle sports or operating personal watercraft? This is a growing area where we need trained people to conduct safety patrols and to teach safe paddling and operations to the public. Are you a computer geek or IT specialist? We have slots for you. Interested in extending your chef or cooking skills? We’ll train you to be culinary specialists who qualify to occasionally help out at active-duty Coast Guard Stations.”

Anyone interested may contact the flotilla by email at