‘Deadliest Catch’: Keith Colburn’s ‘Priceless’ Moment When Wild Bill Had to Lay a Smack on Someone

by Courtney Blackann

Sometimes the “Deadliest Catch” crews get so exhausted they fall asleep while working. It’s not too uncommon with the long hours and extremely rigorous conditions aboard their fishing vessels. But at the same time, it’s the captain’s job to keep their crew in check when this happens.

This is the case when Captain Wild Bill Wichrowski had to slap one of his crewmembers for falling asleep on the job.

In an interview with TV Shows Ace, Captain Keith Colburn of “The Wizard” detailed the incident, citing that he knows what happens when you just feel so exhausted, you’re going through the motions, albeit on autopilot.

“It is open the window, drink some coffee, stand up, walk across the wheel house, do whatever it takes, because sometimes you’re so exhausted that you’re wide awake and your eyes are open, but at the same time it’s a challenge. With that being said, one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen was on Wild Bill’s boat,” the captain states.

He goes on to share the funny account.

“The guy was fighting to stay awake and drooling on himself and his head nodding, and then going over it and just barely getting back up. You just see this guy doing everything in his power to stay awake and he can’t do it. And then Bill shows up and there’s a little slap upside the head. It was absolutely priceless.”

“Deadliest Catch” Captain Keith Colburn Learns Something New Every Day

Fans of “Deadliest Catch” only see snippets of what each crew endures daily. The teams are put through tedious and grueling work in order to haul in Alaskan King Crab from every trip. Though Colburn has been a part of the industry since the 1980s, he still sees a need to keep learning each day.

The experienced captain knows he’s got the skills to run a tight ship. But his ego really stays at the dock. While he’s out at sea, Colburn makes it a point to stay grounded and focused. He attempts to learn something new every day from the people around him. In doing so, it keeps him humbled. While he may seem like a strict captain of the “Wizard,” he attempts to keep his crew in line for their own safety.

“Most importantly, you have to stay calm when the sh*t hits the fan. You have to find a way to keep your emotions in check and adapt to the situation in front of you,” the “Deadliest Catch” captain says.

This is because the slightest error could cause a massive problem. Both the boat and the crew are at risk. Each day at sea means extreme temperatures and high waves. Heavy machinery is necessary to operate the crab pots, and this could cause injuries to those who aren’t paying close attention.

As the ship’s leader, Colburn has to prepare for any situation at any time. Because of this, the captain always tried to retain information while continuously learning.