Commercial fisherman & crabber. Ask me anything!

mitchmeister

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How much of the discovery channel shows like Deadliest Catch & Dungeon Cove are real versus produced?

There’s a lot of dramatization involved. A lot. I wish they didn’t get into the family life drama so much, it gets pretty soft and wildly un relevant. Now, that said it’s still a savage job! Boats sink every year. People die. The F/V Aquarius just went down this past month. Husband and wife lost. So although there’s dramatization in the shows, you never know when things are going to go sideways right freakin now.

The most dangerous season is a persons greenhorn season. They get a lot of camera attention because it just takes time to know what’s going on when ten things are going on. I know of a couple guys and one girl who have lost fingers. Faces get smashed, people get knocked or fall in the water, get smashed by a crab pot, the list of risk is pretty big. Running hydraulics on power blocks, rams, cranes, booms, winches can all go the wrong way fast. Not to mention being on the danger side of a line (rope for the non savvy).

I’ve seen sharks come up in nets snapping at the guys on the back deck stacking net with no idea a shark is getting tossed right up over their head.

Anyway, up for questions!
 

Ooh-Rah

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FYI -

The OP mentioned in his intro post that he has a background in this life and I asked him to begin this thread.


Did you deal with the ice? That seems like it would be one of the more dangerous parts of the season. Having your boat begin to ice up to the point the weight is causing issues.
 

mitchmeister

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I’m sure this is way easier to link other posts from a computer not iPhone. My bad.

I personally never had to deal with chipping off ice. It wasn’t cold enough where we were the last two winters. Horrible waves and storms, but, thankfully not enough to freeze up. The cold days were always a test. Who was going to be the man on deck and not wear a hood. That game can get extreme.

Anyway, with a clip of gear stacked on the boat its critical to not have the ice weight. In 2017 F/V Destination went down likely factors include auto nav glitch hard over, full clip of gear, and ice. The entire crew, 6, were lost.

Here’s an article on the F/V Scandies Rose

When the Scandies Rose sunk west of Kodiak, he survived. Now he's grappling with losing his crewmates. - Alaska Public Media
 

Arf

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Deadliest Catch: The Sinking of the F/V Scandies Rose | Deadliest Catch

There is some controversy here. The deadliest catch is claiming that the Captain dropped the ball by letting his guys sleep while there was ice that was overwhelming the ship. The families are outraged at the statement because the captain was incredibly skilled and had been fishing since he was a teenager.

Personally, I agree with the families. All the same, I thought it was a nice tribute.
 

mitchmeister

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Depends where you are. Bristol Bay, AK has a big fleet some 1,300 vessels fishing this summer. It’s usually a sad encounter dealing with injury, rescue, or search for a man/woman overboard. A lot of great fisherman, but a lot more novice fisherman that need to get a clue. I’d say the Coast Guard have their work cut out for them there. So probably dismayed at the attitude that all those captains feel entitled, until, they need saving.

Any winter fishery, with a solid vessel reputation is met with respect in AK, WA, and Oregon where I’ve been. In the winter the Coast Guard guys have a savage job. Mostly it’s to bring awareness of the sea state, but when they get called out it’s pretty impressive!
 

mitchmeister

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Did you ever interact with the Coast Guard? What did they think of you guys?
Depends where you are. Bristol Bay, AK has a big fleet some 1,300 vessels fishing this summer. It’s usually a sad encounter dealing with injury, rescue, or search for a man/woman overboard. A lot of great fisherman, but a lot more novice fisherman that need to get a clue. I’d say the Coast Guard have their work cut out for them there. So probably dismayed at the attitude that all those captains feel entitled, until, they need saving.

Any winter fishery, with a solid vessel reputation is met with respect in AK, WA, and Oregon where I’ve been. In the winter the Coast Guard guys have a savage job. Mostly it’s to bring awareness of the sea state, but when they get called out it’s pretty impressive!
 
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