‘Deadliest Catch’ Fans Criticized the Show for Continuing to Feature the Patricia Lee After Todd Kochutin’s Death

by Emily Morgan

Fans of “Deadliest Catch” know that the popular reality TV show follows the crab fisherman as they work on the dangerous high seas. Viewers watch in awe as the crews work on the Bering Sea under harsh working conditions.

Sadly, that fact has become more apparent following the tragic death of crew member Todd Kochutin last year. At the time, he suffered fatal injuries from a crash with a heavy crab pot while aboard the Patricia Lee fishing vessel.

The catastrophic collision sent shockwaves through the show’s viewers and the cast as Kochutin’s colleagues and fellow crew members mourned his passing. Now, his death has since cast a gloomy shadow around the show.

Despite the tragic events, showrunners for the “Deadliest Catch” continued to move forward with its 18th season in April. However, the decision wasn’t without its criticism from fans.

Unfortunately, “Deadliest Catch” fans felt one aspect of the new series was disrespectful to the late star’s memory. One of the fishing vessels primarily featured in Season 18 of “Deadliest Catch” is the infamous F/V Patricia Lee. The vessel was the same one that Kochutin passed away on just a year prior.

As a result, some viewers have since shamed the series. Many are saying the show is making money on the buzz and controversy surrounding his death.

Fans criticize ‘Deadliest Catch’ showrunners for featuring the boat

“I think featuring F/V Patricia Lee in the wake of Todd Kochutin’s death is truly the lowest hanging fruit Discovery could possibly go for in terms of upping the melodrama,” a user wrote in a post on the r/deadliestcatch subreddit.

In addition, it’s only getting worse for the showrunners. Condemnation towards the show’s featuring the F/V Patricia Lee has only continued to grow since Season 18 debuted. During an earlier episode, fans saw one of the ship’s deckhands, Francis Katungin, suffer severe injuries after another unfortunate crash with a loose crab pot.

Afterward, the United States Coast Guard had to airlift Katungin for emergency medical treatment. In the wake of the accident, Boat captain Rip Carlton could only describe the incident as “déjà vu.”

“My first thought was damn that boat is CURSED or the captain is, wth is going on?” another user commented on a reaction thread to the news. They added that it was “really heartbreaking to watch.”

In just a matter of months, the F/V Patricia Lee has built up an extremely questionable reputation for acting as the vessel behind the most dangerous moments of “Deadliest Catch.”

As long as the showrunners continue to feature the vessel, it seems like fans will continue to criticize the show. New episodes of “Deadliest Catch” air on Discovery+ every Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST. You can also stream episodes on Apple TV and Hulu.