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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 "All Present and Accounted For"
March 16, 2019
Before departing from Baltimore, the command asked the crew that, due to some extra time, there was a possibility of a layover in one of the Caribbean islands that lay on the course to the canal. The resulting vote from the men revealed Aruba as the island most would like to visit. The command staff contacted the U.S. State Department with approval granted.
After departure from Baltimore, there was to be a brief stop at the Naval Station in Norfolk to run the ship through the degaussing range. Unfortunately for the crew, degaussing of the Jarvis had to commence due to the amount of magnetism detected, most likely caused during the construction phase of the ship. Life-time mariner David Martin would explain:
"Magnetism is a problem if you are near magnetically triggered mines or torpedoes. It is also a problem for the accuracy of your magnetic compass. The degaussing system is used to reduce the ship's effect on the earth's magnetic field by preventing the generation of the magnetic disturbances. The application of degaussing system started during the World War II to prevent the naval ships from magnetic mines and torpedoes."
This process took five days which involved huge cables being strung around the ship, ‘zapping’ the vessel to remove the magnetism. The delay effectively canceled the Aruba stopover.