In November 1972, the Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis ran aground during a violent storm in Alaska, puncturing its hull, with a temporary patch applied to stop the flooding. The following day, enroute back to Honolulu, another, more vicious, storm struck; Jarvis now struggled with over thirteen feet of water in their engine room and no power. The nearest ship that volunteered to assist was scheduled to arrive thirty minutes after the Jarvis officers estimated the ship would be destroyed on the rocky coastline. Wind gusts struck at seventy-knots, hail and snow was falling, and at one time, Jarvis hit a swell at a sixty-degree angle.
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Excerpt from "All Present and Accounted For"
February 25, 2019
Off and on, heavy winds would rock the ship and the tug Richard Foss would assist, holding her in place until winds died. The divers would work in icy, cold conditions while those in the engine room would still work in oily, greasy, cold, and filthy conditions. Engineering Officer Buffleben described the divers work as “amazing,” noting the divers would weld underwater for short periods, then come back on board with their skins a blue tint due to the coldness of the waters.
While some chose to sleep on the nearby Coast Guard cutters offering hotel services to the crew, some did remain on the Jarvis. Those remaining continued to sleep in their oily clothes, not only due to exhaustion but also because there were no clean clothes available. The dirty conditions, combined with no fresh water for washing or showering for the last eight days, led to very inhospitable conditions. Those who wanted took a “sea shower” consisting of rinsing one’s self from a small sink of cold, icy water and then wipe down for a shower.