Once the Deadliest Catch crews have filled their holding tanks with crabs, the next step is to take them to the canneries for processing and payment. But if the canneries aren’t open, they have nowhere to take their catch. If the crabs stay on board for too long, they begin to die, resulting in a lot of lost money for the crew members.
This was the dilemma that Captains Josh Harris and Casey McManus faced last season when they could bring their biggest haul of the year to shore. The Akutan Cannery halted all operations after a surge in COVID-19 cases. This left only three other canneries available for the Deadliest Catch crew, and even then, their chances of reaching these locations in time were becoming increasingly slimmer.
While the Cornelia Marie deckhands continued to pull crabs from the massive pots, the captains wondered if they would have to release their impressive catch back into the water. And even worse, this could be the only catch that they see in their pots for a while.
Second ‘Deadliest Catch’ Cannery Quickly Follows Suit
Not too long after the suspension of the Akutan Cannery, another major Alaskan cannery closed its doors, too, for the same reason.
When word reached Captains Sig and Mandy Hansen of the Northwestern, they knew this would severely affect their season quota. Like Harris and McManus, the Hansens feared that they would lose their precious cargo while waiting for the cannery to reopen. They could either follow the Cornelia Marie crew’s efforts and pack their holding tanks full of crabs, or they could risk waiting for the canneries to reopen before bringing any new catch aboard.
Either way, there were huge risks and consequences that awaited the Deadliest Catch stars.
‘Cornelia Marie’ Faces Another Debilitating Problem
Meanwhile, Harris and McManus have their hands full with yet another dilemma on their vessel. Shortly after hearing the news of the second cannery closure, an alarm sounds. The primary generator just bit the dust.
The generator helps pump water in and out of the holding tank below the deck. Without a constant source of water, the crabs can’t get enough oxygen through their gills and they begin to die within 10 minutes.
As the engineer inspected the situation in the pump room, he discovered that the fuel pump was the main contender to the problem. Unfortunately, the Deadliest Catch crew didn’t have a second one on board, but they did have an additional generator.
The new plan: run the second generator for the remainder of the trip and pray hard that it lasts them until they can get to an open cannery.
“This is our biggest off-load we’ve ever had as being owners of this boat together,” Harris explained. “And right now, we really need this.”