In just the past few weeks, Deadliest Catch fans have watched recent episodes where a crew member of the F/V Summer Breeze implied that they have cancer, when instead, he had a serious drug addiction, a former star of the show, who is known to have addiction issues, had a warrant out for his arrest because he did not show up for a court date for his original drug arrest, and perhaps the most respected star of the show, got so inebriated, that his regrettable behavior also caused him to get a warrant out for his arrest, as well as some unflattering headlines.
Deadliest Catch fans may now just wonder, are the recent incidents of addiction, partying and excessive drinking just part of the lives of those who work the most dangerous job in the world?
This season on the show, Nick McGlashan had made people, including his captain, Wild Bill Wichrowski, believe he had cancer. Instead, he admitted to Fox, via The Chosen, that he was “a full-blown junkie,” addicted to heroin and meth.
“I was three overdoses into my addiction and a heavy alcoholic. My addict self was killing me and I was struggling to die.
“When I ceased to be an active addict I was drinking half a gallon of vodka, shooting two grams of heroin, and one gram of meth every day. My mind, body, and spirit were so diseased, I welcomed my own death, I was ready to die.”
The Deadliest Catch deck boss went into treatment and is now grateful for his recovery.
A few days ago, Sig Hansen had a warrant out for his arrest after allegedly damaging an Uber car, and spitting on the driver. Apparently, this occurred when he discovered he could not pay the fare old school, with cash, but instead, he had to pay with an app.
He had been out with drinking and celebrating Norwegian Constitution Day, with his family, and he made some admittedly poor choices. The Seattle Times reported that Sig was charged with property destruction and misdemeanor assault. Sig was told he had to abstain from alcohol and drugs. The F/V Northwestern Captain was pretty embarrassed by his behavior.
“I feel terrible about it. It’s embarrassing.”
— Alaska Dispatch News (@adndotcom) May 18, 2017
Less than a week ago, Jake Harris had a warrant out for his arrest. As the Inquisitr previously reported, last month, he was in Arizona on vacation, with an unidentified female friend. She said he took her car, and as she was unable to reach him, so she called the local police regarding her missing car.
The police found Captain Phil’s youngest son, the car, as well as some crystal meth and Xanax. He was set to go to court last week, but Harris failed to show up, causing the judge to issue a warrant for his arrest. As of now, there has not been any sort of closure on this matter, whether Jake turned himself in, or if he is on the run. Yet, it is clear that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Ex-'Deadliest Catch' Star Jake Harris Wanted in Phoenix Drug Case https://t.co/mS32lnHeT2
— TMZ (@TMZ) May 16, 2017
Josh and Jake Harris’s father, Captain Phil, was beloved by all Deadliest Catch fans. Yet, in his youth, he struggled with similar sorts of vices that other crab fishermen went through. A few years ago, Josh and Jake had written a biography of their father, entitled Captain Phil Harris: The Legendary Crab Fisherman. Our Hero, Our Dad.
The Daily Mail chronicled some of the excesses that the boys wrote about, declaring their father, Captain Phil Harris “as explosive as the seas he sailed on.” His life could only compare to that of a 70s rock supergroup, with money, drugs, high stakes gambling, and available women at every port–and he never hid any of this from his children.
Josh explained what Phil’s life was like when he was not crab fishing.
“My dad once told me that when he was a young crab fisherman, he’d get a big fat pay check, buy huge amounts of cocaine…rent the penthouse of a nice hotel, and rotate the girls in and out.”
Back in those days, in the 80s, the amount of money crab fishermen made was like buying a house each paycheck, and like a rabid rock star, Phil blew through it in a less than a month.
“That’s how he lived his life for a long time. He’d get a check for $80,000 but after three weeks it was gone.”
Recently, meth and Xanax was found on Jake, which are the current abused drugs, but not their dad. Josh explained that Phil was snorting high-quality coke and smoking the best pot available.
“Pharmaceutical quality Peruvian flake cocaine and high-grade strains of cannabis were the way Phil rolled.”
The book also reveals that Phil could also drink an entire bottle of high-quality Russian vodka, Stolichnaya, before breakfast. He learned that Stoly trick from hanging with Russian fisherman up in the Bering Sea.
Eventually, Phil cleaned up his act. He got divorced and gained custody of his kids. Their relationship on the Deadliest Catch was that of a loving father, who was perhaps a little too easy on his two sons, as he did not want to them suffer. Near the end of his life, on the Discovery Channel show, Jake admitted to Phil that he had his own addiction issues, and Phil was determined that he needed to get clean. While Jake was in rehab, Captain Phil passed away from complications from a stroke.
— Deadliest Catch (@DeadliestCatch) May 16, 2017
Based on what was seen on the episodes of the Deadliest Catch, after Jake went to rehab, he was still struggling with his same drug issues. On the show, Captain Derrick Ray had famously called the law officials to test Jake Harris for drugs. They have zero tolerance when it comes to working on a crab boat and using any sort of substance. He told Oregon Live that if Jake were caught using, this would affect the ownership of the boat. Drug use is very serious.
“Having drugs on the boat is against the law. I have a captain’s license. I could lose my captain’s license. There’s footage of it and I knew he was smoking dope, and I was trying to get him to stop.”
Although these are just a few examples of addiction, there are more. Captain Keith Colburn has admitted he is a recovering alcoholic, as is Sig’s brother Edgar Hansen. Jake Anderson spoke to Dr. Drew, along with Jake Harris, about his own addiction–and these are just the crab fishermen that were open about their addictions.
Deadliest Catch fans know that on the crab boat, the fisherman work endless grinds, through waves, storms, and serious ice–with no sleep! Not only do they work in these nasty conditions, but often, through sickness and painful injury. Who can ever forget a few years ago, on the show, when a deckhand asked then F/V Saga captain Elliot Neese “Can you shoot me up with some Cortisone?” Obviously, the captain has to be able to offer something like this if a deckhand should suffer a serious cut or worse.
Whether it is to heal an injury or because this job takes them from their family, and loved ones, fans of the show can safely assume that self-medicating is often a part of surviving their job on and off of the boat. Yet, at what cost?
What are your thoughts about the recent incidents regarding current and former Deadliest Catch stars?
[Featured Image by Discovery Channel]