Deadliest Catch is famous for showcasing all of the brutal aspects of crab fishing on the Bering Sea. But one of those things has little to do with the dangerous conditions of the job. As all true fans know, the senior members of the cast are notorious for hazing the greenhorns. And while some people may think that the treatment is hyped up for drama’s sake, it isn’t.
In episodes, greenhorns, who are considered the most inexperienced fishermen on the crews, are constantly harassed and bullied. And the process is deemed a necessary right of passage for the crabbers. Because working in the career is so intense and dangerous, the long-standing crew members believe they need to toughen up the new guys or they’ll never make it through a season.
If the greenhorns complain about the treatment, the captains will promptly fire them the second they return to shore. So if a crew member wants to stay on Deadliest Catch, they have to endure the torture.
While most reality shows are notorious for creating tension that keeps audiences coming back, that’s apparently not the case when it comes to the greenhorn hazing, according to former star James Gallagher.
In an Ask Me Anything Reddit thread, the Lady Alaska Engineer shared that the producers do a great job portraying the plight of the greenhorn. And he added that he also believes the cruel behavior is necessary.
“I think the show has done a good job of depicting the right of passage,” he wrote. “It’s truly trial by fire. The [greenhorn] gets f***ed with. The greenhorn gets ridden. That’s what makes a good fisherman. If you’re not hard on them they don’t learn the skills they need and they can possibly be maimed or even killed. It’s the fisherman way.”
‘The Deadliest Catch’ Industry is in ‘Desperate’ Need of Greenhorns
James Gallagher also noted that the crab fishing industry is “desperate” for new recruits right now. But despite the “massive demand,” not many “kids make the cut.”
And Deadliest Catch has focused on those unlucky greenhorns who “don’t make the cut” countless times. One of the most notable, however, is the former fisherman named Dane Tebo. The cast member joined the show in 2013 for season 9. However, he only lasted for four episodes.
As expected, Tebo was the target of consistent abuse. And he finally reached his boiling point during an episode titled Listing Lovers.
After The Wizard’s deckhand Freddy Maugatit pushed Tebo’s final button, Tebo launched a physical fight. Captain Keith Colburn promptly yelled at Tebo for “sucker-punching” Maugati and insinuated that Tebo was a coward for not being able to take the harassment. Then as soon as the boat reached port in Alaska, Colburn told Tebo that his services were no longer needed on the boat.