“The Bering Sea likes to eat boats, smash crew members,” says Deadliest Catch Captain David Lethin. It only takes one wave to turn a promising trip into a total disaster.
Even on a mild day on the Bering Sea, conditions are still pretty rough. Huge waves, low temperatures and pouring rain are elements that crew members have come to expect during their long workdays on Deadliest Catch vessels. Still, those conditions are a day on the beach compared to how treacherous the water can become in the middle of a winter storm. But when the season quota for crabs is quickly closing and you still have bills and crew members to pay, sometimes the only option is to brave the forces of the storm.
That’s when the situation can turn deadly.
Take a look at some of the most dangerous battles Deadliest Catch crews had to face on the water.
Massive Wave Slams ‘Deadliest Catch’ Crew Member into Cabinet During Rough Storm
Injuries on deck are fairly common as crew members pull up the gigantic crab cages from the depths of the Bering Sea. Once the hardworking crabbers lock down the equipment for the night, though, they don’t expect to need the first aid kit. A 2005 storm proved otherwise for the Aleutian Ballad.
Deadliest Catch Captain David Lethin steered the boat further into the wrath of a violent winter storm. Thankfully, at this point, no one remained on deck. Instead, several crew members gathered around the table in the kitchen for a well-deserved hot meal. To them, it seemed like any other night, save for a more turbulent ride through the water. As the vessel continued forward, though, the waves became significantly stronger. Lethin tried his hardest to steer out of their path until one rogue 60-foot wave struck the side of the 100-foot boat with a force so fierce that it knocked out the power.
“I thought we hit a rock or another boat,” the Deadliest Catch captain explained, surveying the damage of the situation.
Thankfully, the power was restored, but the computer wasn’t responding. Below deck, one crewmember was icing her elbow injury. The vessel’s cook, 25-year-old Nicole Zia was thrown into the cabinets when the wave hit the Deadliest Catch vessel. Despite the fact that she couldn’t bend her arm, she still had a smile on her face. The cameraman showed where the crewmember “broke the cabinet door with her body” just moments before. Thankfully, it seemed there were no other injuries more severe than Zia’s.
The Deadliest Catch crewmembers remember this storm to be one of the strongest that they had ever seen on the Bering Sea. Hopefully, they haven’t broken any more cabinets since 2005.