‘Deadliest Catch’: Bad Weather and Broken Equipment Is a Recipe for Disaster

by Courtney Blackann
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During the latest season of “Deadliest Catch” the fishing is hot. Aboard the Cornelia Marie, captains Josh Phillips and Casey McManus are celebrating their big win. However, the celebrations come to a halt when the crew is bombarded with problems.

As crab pots are dragged from the water filled with literally thousands of king crabs, the guys are overwhelmed with excitement. It’s a good day on the Bering Sea. And because the fishing crew’s quota has doubled since previous years, there’s a lot to get excited about. Full crab traps mean a big payout.

But then the generator breaks. Working fishing vessels require tons of maintenance and the “Deadliest Catch” crews are no strangers to equipment malfunctions. However, if they can’t get the generator to work, their large catch will die in the live wells. Thinking quickly, Captain Casey says they’ll have to “crank the sh**” out of their backup generator and haul ass back to offload the crabs.

Freezing Weather Threatens Catch

The guys continue to bring in giant loads of crab, pot after pot. It’s their biggest catch ever, Captain Josh says. But the hits keep coming. There’s a turn in weather. Footage from the episode shows enormous waves throw the ship around. Additionally, it begins to snow. The frigid temperature means trouble for their catch.

As the crew works to sort the crabs as quickly as possible, it’s too late. Thousands of the enormous crabs die. It’s one of those times where things just don’t go the way the captains want it to. Though the deckhands have been working for hours in the freezing cold, Captain Josh tells them there’s no quitting in sight.

“Guess we’re headed North,” he says, obviously dejected. While they thought they were done, the crew can’t return without their quota. Pushing forward is all they can do, despite the devastating loss.

“Deadliest Catch” Researchers Vow to Make Job Easier on Crew

With conditions already being so harsh, researchers in Oregon are working to make the profession less dangerous to crew members. With crabbing being one of the most lucrative fishing industries, the job is definitely needed.

However, researchers from Oregon State University are going to spend the next three years attempting to make that job a little less stressful and physically demanding.

Receiving a grant of $900,000 from the Occupational Safety and Health Department, the faculty will address safer fishing methods.

Professor Laura Kincl said in speaking with fisherman, chronic physical problems are rampant.

“A lot of strains and sprains, and a lot of fractures from the handling of the gear,” Kincl said. “So that’s why we ask fishermen what can be done to help improve productivity but also improve their safety.” 

Outsider.com