“Deadliest Catch” follows the fleets during king crab season, ones in the northern Bering Sea hunting for blue crab and the others in the southern part looking for the red king crab.
Last week on the Wizard, their new greenhorn Chris fell ill and was losing consciousness. The crew ceased fishing and Keith called in the Coast Guard. There are precautions and some medical help aboard, but nobody is a physician on a crab boat, just a primitive fixer-upper. But this time it is serious as the crew begs Chris to hang on as the Coast Guard sends a helicopter with a gurney to lift him up and away, but first he has to pee. At least he has the wherewithal and awareness and the captain and crew help him before he is brought into the helicopter. Once aboard, the Coast Guard radioed Captain Keith to let him know that they brought him aboard and are tending to him as they take him to the hospital.
The crew of the Wizard is in shock over the turn of events and Captain Keith is examining his conscience to see if he pushed the greenhorn too hard. He came down on deck to thank his crew for their care and concern and they dedicated the first string of the day to Chris. The next 30 pots were dedicated to him in hopes that he and the catch will both be fine.
Across the fleet, a high wind warning is blasting across their radios. The “Storm of the Century” is predicted to come in to the blue crab grounds and work its way south to the red crab grounds. Most of the fleet retreats, but Elliott on the Ramblin’ Rose is plugging on through. His owners advised him that his job is on the line if he does not catch his quota and he will risk his and his crew’s lives to get the job done. He is betting that the weatherman is wrong…but his track record with bets is lacking authenticity. As they pull up the first string, the numbers are in the low single digits for six hours straight and the crew has about had enough of his tyrannical ways. The owner calls Elliott and demands that they dock up with the rest of the fleet at St. Matthew’s Island to take shelter.
On the Northwestern, Sig takes warning and hopes to get his gear pulled before the storm hits. The crew is anxious to get home. Jake Harris is hoping to secure his spot for opilo season but he has yet to make an impression on Sig. The pots are loaded as the storm starts to exhibit its fury just as the last pot is ready as Jake Harris throws the traditional flaming hook and makes the catch just like a pro. Jake is asked if he will be back for opie season and his answer is a resounding yes.
On the Seabrooke, Captain Scott “Junior” Campbell is the last boat still fishing with just one engine and the storm starting to blow, but he is aiming for his name to become legendary as the pots are full again. But the storm is blowing a steady 60-70 knots per hour and finally they retreat.
As the final numbers are tallied, the Seabrooke is the all over leader with 184,450 pounds of blue crab. The Northwestern is second with 151,000 pounds of red crab. The Wizard shares its total of 112,500 pounds between the red and blue crab, the Kodiak has 104,750 pounds of red crab, the Ramblin’ Rose only has 93,400 of blue crab and never hit the 100,000 mark that he bet would beat the Seabrooke. The Time Bandit makes it in last place with just 89,500 of red crab.
Now Junior realizes that he stayed at the dance too long and has to maneuver through the reefs to the leeward side of St. Matthew Island. Several boats and many lives have been lost here, and steering the boat with only one engine is like driving a car with two flat front tires. His depth gauge fails to guide him as he prays that they do not get pushed on the rocks as the episode wanes leaving fans holding their breath while the boat rocks around like a toy at the discretion of the angry Bering Sea further proving that this job catching king crabs is the “Deadliest Catch.”
Photo of Coast Guard helicopter on the Bering Sea: Wikimedia