It’s not uncommon for members of the “Deadliest Catch” crew to be put in dangerous situations. Multiple days on the Bering Sea with treacherous seas and harsh winds make for a tough trip. Not everyone is cut out for the lifestyle either. Several greenhorns have tried their best to make it in the commercial fishing business and come up short. However, for those that do get into the industry, they quickly learn that brushes with death are a part of the job. As one deckhand learned after two brushes with death, it’s not the easiest business to be a part of.
During an episode from the show’s last season, deckhand Freddy risks his life by jumping into the water after a dead whale. Not only is the water freezing and able to induce hypothermia after minutes, but it’s also incredibly rough. Freddy plunges into the deep, dark water without a shirt on. As he approaches the whale, other crew members throw him a flotation device. He quickly realizes he’s taken on too much and places the flotation device around his body. He’s then dragged back to the boat.
When Accidents Happen
“That was crazy,” the captain says, shaking his head. “What just happened is not how to do that. That could have gone a hundred ways wrong.”
After the incident, the crew are able to drag the wale closer to the boat, though it’s unclear what they’re trying to salvage from the dead animal.
Using a towel to dry off, Freddy says, “I mean I wasn’t trying to disrespect the captain or anybody, you know.”
Then, a while later, Freddy is on the deck again. He slips and is nearly crushed by a 2,500 pound crab launcher. He barely escapes as the heavy machinery comes right towards his body.
“The hydraulic hit him right in the face. If he wouldn’t have been that quick he would have just got smashed by the launcher. There’s 1,001 ways to die on the boat.” the captain says.
“If I didn’t make it out of there, I would look like a bloody pancake,” Freddy says after the accident.
“Deadliest Catch” Stars Take Work Seriously
Despite the scary moments, Freddy is soon back on the deck as they haul in pots full of crab.
“That’s why I got a crab dance going,” Freddy says, laughing. The deckhand appears to be in good spirits despite the nearly fatal accident.
Though the deckhands and crew of “Deadliest Catch” seem to always be joking around, when it comes to actual work, these guys know it’s no laughing matter.
No one understands this better than Sig Hansen’s daughter, Mandy, who said working on the deck was the toughest thing she’s ever done.
“In the beginning, of course, it was hard,” Hansen said. “It only got worse the longer I was out on deck because my hands were hurting so bad. They got so sore. I mean I couldn’t move my hands. I always wear rings. Of course, you can’t wear jewelry up there, but I couldn’t even get it past my nail line afterward.”