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Captain Robert Johnson, who makes a living bringing the commercial ships of the world over the treacherous Columbia River bar.

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The South Korean Diamond Ray en route to Portland.

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The hull of the Diamond Ray plows towards Astoria.

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A Diamond Ray crew member waits for a tugboat to pick up the bar pilot.

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A tugboat approaches the Diamond Ray to pick up a departing bar pilot.

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The Diamond Ray heads on upriver toward Portland.

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Rearview of the massive car ship, Diamond Ray.

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A tugboat that fetches pilots once they’ve guided ships in from sea.

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Seahawk winch operator Michael Bruhn hoists bar pilot George Waer from the Tritonia.

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Seahawk co-pilot Michael Bruhn secures the hoist after leaving the deck of the Tritonia.

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The Seahawk helicopter takes a rare break at the Columbia Bar Pilots helicopter base in Astoria.

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Inside the wheel house of the Chinook.

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The Chinook pilot boat waits in the harbor for a call.

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