One particularly noteworthy instance occurred in 2013 aboard the Wizard. Greenhorn Dane Tebo was fed up with veteran deckhand Freddy Maugatai. Reportedly sucker-punching Maugatai, Tebo started a fight in the hallway, leading to a short brawl between the two.
Hearing the ruckus from above, Captain Keith Colburn sprang into action to see what happened. Making kissing noises with his mouth, Freddy taunts Dane, asking “wow, that’s all you got?” Suggesting the greenhorn take things outside, Keith arrives just in time to diffuse the situation.
After hearing Dane sucker-punched Freddy, Keith turns to face him and ask what happened. Dane exclaims he was getting threatened and harassed every day. Keith gets to the heart of the matter and asks if Dane hit him first. He explains he did because Freddy is bigger than him, much to the captain’s dismay.
Keith then pushes Dane to show what it’s like.
“Hey, listen, dude,” Keith begins. “What I just did to you right now is completely off-limits on this boat, okay? You’re gonna earn nobody’s respect on this boat by throwing sucker-punches. Alright? Okay? You’re a greenhorn! You’ve been out here for a week! This guy’s been running circles around you and kids like you for 18 years!”
Keith finished by chastising him further, saying that’s “as low as it gets” and “I’ll take care of you myself” if it happens again. Turning to Freddy, he then asks the veteran deckhand to stay away from the greenhorn.
‘Deadliest Catch’s’ Sig Hansen Explains What You Must ‘Have’ to Captain a Ship
Keith displayed great leadership in how he de-escalated the fight aboard the Wizard. To lead a ship like that, you need to possess certain qualities and Deadliest Catch’s Sig Hansen gives his thoughts on what you must “have” to be a ship captain.
According to Hansen, an entrepreneurial spirit is key to being a successful crab boat captain. Speaking to Media Village, he says “to be a captain, you have to be an entrepreneur. You have to have that spirit.” Hansen recognized early on he was an entrepreneur, one who made his own opportunities and jumped on others that came his way. That ambition paved the way to his success.
Further, a competitive spirit is vital. Teamwork isn’t always the answer and you have to be able to rely on yourself. “As fishermen, we want to keep the numbers high, and we are always for ourselves. We are always for ourselves, very competitive. Teamwork didn’t always pay off.”
Notably, Hansen pioneered several techniques that many fishermen consider best practices today.