U.S. Coast Guard - Doug van Kampen Photography
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Flight Operations

Flight Operations

[Bering Sea, Alaska, 2012]

I spend months out to sea. I am afforded opportunities that many don't get, especially in regards to getting working portraits of my shipmates.

I remember this day as if it were yesterday. We had been underway for only a couple hours, just off the coast of Dutch Harbor, when we got the call for SAR (Search and Rescue) off the Pribilof Islands - a group of fisherman in need of a medevac for a crew-member having chest pains. The mood was serious. After all, this is what we are called to do; that's why we're there.

When I was in the first years of my Coast Guard career, I didn't have someone to follow me around with a camera - I wish I had. To this day, I'm not sure my family has any clue what it is I do out there.

These images are for my shipmates, those whom I trust my life with when we're away, those who do the good work, the king's business.

It is aboard ships that my love for working portraiture was born.

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