Maritime Monday: Strange Maritime Photo

I know that my grandfather, Donald Sanchez, served in the Coast Guard on the Cutter Fir, off the coast of the Pacific Northwest.  He also later served in the Merchant Marines.

This was amongst his pictures and I’m having a hard time trying to figure out what is going on – or if there just isn’t really a point to the pictures.  Are those Coast Guard uniforms?  Is that ice on the deck for goodness sakes?  Brrrr!

And here is another, similar picture.

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  • Cynthia Shenette - November 30, 2010 - 11:51 am

    Great photo. I can’t comment on the uniforms, but that does look like ice on deck. I posted a photo of my dad a while back on ship, and the ship was completely covered in snow and ice. Brrr…ReplyCancel

  • Jen - November 30, 2010 - 4:54 pm

    It must have been so cold!!
    I just noticed that it looks like the one guy is holding springs to a mattress, doesn’t it? Weird.ReplyCancel

  • Trevor Sanchez - December 2, 2010 - 4:44 am

    Those are Coast Guard uniforms, and that is ice. And those are mattress springs. My guess is they had some flooding in one of the holds and that is what they are pumping out as evidenced in the last photo. It appears to be a sailing yacht that the Coast Guard is helping to rescue. By pumping it out, they would right the yacht so that it could be saved. But that is just my guess.ReplyCancel

    • Jen - December 2, 2010 - 6:34 am

      Thank you Trevor!!ReplyCancel

  • Jen - December 2, 2010 - 10:42 pm

    My Uncle Steve left me a comment on Facebook that better explained the pictures. I’m posting it here so that I can keep his comment with the pictures. :)

    “This appears to be a sailing yacht that has grounded as evidenced by the trees in the background. My guess is that they are removing furniture and other things to lighten the boat to make it easier to refloat. The amount of ice suggests that this is probably in Alaskan waters. The Coast Guard used civillian yachts during WWII as patrol vessels. This is probably one of them as the decks and upperworks have been painted either dark gray or blue. Judging from the beam of the boat, I would hazard a guess of approximately 75 feet but may be a little smaller. The second picture also shows what appears to be a large hose going down the hatch and is probably pumping out water. The uniforms and foul weather gear are from the WWII era. That is evidenced by the “blue” dixie cup hats. They were normally white but were dyed blue during the war so as to be less conspicuous. The first photo shows the middle man with the dixie cup hat pulled down over his ears ala “Gilligan” from Gilligan’s Island. The second picture shows the man on the left wearing the hat as it would normally be worn.The man in the first picture on the right is an officer as evidenced by the gold braid on his cap. Given his apparent older age, he is probably a warrant officer. Hope this helps, Uncle Steve”ReplyCancel

  • […] week, I posted some WWII-era Coast Guard pictures that looked very strange to me.  Thanks to my uncles for their insight on what was going on.  It […]ReplyCancel

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