Keith Colburn, the captain of the crabber Wizard on Deadliest Catch since 2007, knows a thing or two about leadership. Going on 40 years now, Colburn has worked in the Alaskan crab fishing industry. For the past 30 years, he’s been in a leadership position.
All of that experience has led Keith Colburn to some conclusions about what it takes to be the captain of a fishing vessel on the Bering Sea. By his estimation, there are three essential characteristics every good captain must possess.
According to an interview the Deadliest Catch star did with Business Observer, two of them are perseverance and the foresight to see through competitive situations. The third? Well, we’ll let Captain Colburn tell you the most important quality himself.
“…Most importantly, you have to stay calm when the sh** hits the fan. You have to find a way to keep your emotions in check and adapt well to the situation in front of you,” Colburn told Business Observer.
Captain Colburn comes to these conclusions only after years of living through countless intense situations. He recalled a time in 2009 when three members of his crew, younger brother included, got hammered by a massive wave on the deck of the Wizard. It sent crab pots flying. His brother Monte suffered a handful of broken ribs, another took the brunt of it with his face, and the third got the worst of it with a head injury and damage to his back.
The Deadliest Catch star sprung into action. He administered first aid and fixed the damage to the ship, all while maintaining his captain duties.
“You have to look at it like a vacuum. When I was handling that, everything just went into slow motion,” Colburn added.
Why Isn’t Captain Colburn the Face of ‘Deadliest Catch’? Maybe Sig Hansen Can Shed Some Light on the Subject
For all of those leadership qualities Captain Keith Colburn maintains, you’d think he be the “leader” of Deadliest Catch as a program. According to fellow captain and beloved personality Sig Hansen, the reasons he’s not are pretty simple.
“Keith is not as good-looking as me or Phil, so that ain’t going to happen. Keith is up there, and I think that because there are different mentalities and one thing you can never take away from Mr. Colburn is A) he’s a tremendous fisherman,” Hansen joked during an interview with tvshowsace.com.
Jokes aside, Hansen thinks he has an idea as to why Keith Colburn isn’t a unifying figure on Deadliest Catch.
“None of us liked to talk on the radio and share information, Keith included. But, I think I can see a bigger picture sometimes. And he might… I think Keith still has a little bit of tunnel vision if I’m going to be a little bit critical,” continued Hansen.