From 1954 to 1980, Peter served with the U.S. Coast Guard. He began his Coast Guard career serving on a buoy tender in the Chesapeake Bay and along coastal Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina.
Then in 1975, just in time for one of the most notorious and tragic shipwrecks on the Great Lakes, Peter jointed the USCG Atlantic Strike Team. The team was sent to spot oil spills from the eastern U.S. coast all the way to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Greenland. In November 1975, that duty included trying to spot an spill or wreckage from the lost Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior.
While on the Atlantic Strike Team, Peter also served from 1970-71 as captain on the LV Nantucket lightship (or lightvessel) sent out to mark the Nantucket Shoals south of Nantucket Island. These ships would substitute for the lighthouse that could not mark the open-water hazards. More than a dozen lightships would be assigned to this location, starting in 1853.
After retiring from the USCG, Peter took on a number of jobs, including for Industrial Marine Service, in part as an oil spill contractor; operating tug boat by North Carolina and the intra-costal waterway; and doing fishing and crabbing part time.