‘Wicked Tuna’ Stars Once Rescued Sinking Fishermen After Answering Distress Signal

by Amy Myers

If the stars of Wicked Tuna ever decide to switch career paths on the water, they have promising potential for the U.S. Coast Guard. With Tropical Storm Fred currently working its way up the East Coast, many boaters know that conditions on the Atlantic are going to be much more dangerous than usual. Of course, when working on the water, there’s always at least a marginal amount of risk each trip that fishermen take. From freak storms to mechanical issues and even a hole in the boat, a whole lot can go wrong on the job. Thankfully, for this angler, the Wicked Tuna crew was in close enough proximity to lend a hand when their boat was minutes from capsizing.

Just before the situation turned critical, the hardworking bluefin tuna hunters seemed to be having a fairly slow day. Greg Mayer asked Charlie Griffin over the radio what time he would be bringing the Reels of Fortune back to its slot. As they arrange their plans, the Fishing Frenzy captain told the fellow Wicked Tuna star, “Maybe we’ll get a pleasant surprise here before the end of the day.”

“No luck today for the Reels of Fortune,” Griffin said after hanging up his radio.

Before Griffin could finish his next thought, alarms blared over the radio. A fellow angler was in distress.

“The boat’s filling with water and I ain’t gonna be able to stop it,” the man explained to the Wicked Tuna crew. “We won’t be able to get off of it. Boat started to roll over.”

Captain T.J. Ott of the Hot Tuna advised the angler to force the water back out of the hole, but the waterman had little success.

‘Wicked Tuna’ Captains Manage to Rescue Two Passengers and Rods

Of course, the priority in this situation is to ensure that the people aboard the sinking boat were able to get to safety. Once that’s taken care of, the next important passengers were the fishing rods.

To be fair, when you compete at the level that the Wicked Tuna captains are on the water, you have to invest in some pretty expensive gear. Knowing how much money their own rods costed, the stars didn’t want the fellow anglers to lose their precious cargo should the boat sink or capsize.

So, when T.J. Ott and the Hot Tuna crew arrived at the scene, they pulled beside another crew of fishermen who brought the two men onto their boat. Meanwhile, Greg Mayer phoned the Oregon Inlet Coast Guard with details of the crisis, noting the distance from the inlet and providing the longitude and latitude.

“Want us to get your rods?” Ott asked once the men were safely off the vessel. Without a moment’s hesitation, one of the Hot Tuna crew members, Derek, hopped onto the sinking boat to grab the two fishing rods and brought them back on board.

Thanks to the help of a good samaritan and the Wicked Tuna cast, the two men will live to fish another day.