Five months after the F/V Destination went missing, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has discovered the wrecked crab boat. Using sonar, the F/V Destination was found at the bottom of the sea, in close to 250 feet of water. Using a multibeam echo sounder, a NOAA boat, the F/V Fairweather, found the sunken boat.
Back in February, the crab boat literally vanished. Without even a call for distress, the boat met a catastrophic end near St. George in the fishing grounds that are filmed in the popular Discovery Channel show Deadliest Catch. As the fishing boat was sinking, it did send out an automatic emergency locator-beacon signal, so there was basic knowledge of the general location of where the boat met its catastrophic end.
The lost fishermen were Charles Glenn Jones, Larry O’Grady, Raymond Vincler, Darrik Seibold, Kai Hamik and Jeff Hathaway. The crew has already been declared dead in order to settle the complicated insurance claims.
Captain Keith Colburn told KIRO7 in Seattle that on February 11, the 98-foot F/V Destination literally “just vanished.”
Obviously, there has been a lot of speculation amongst the various captains on what could possibly have occurred. Colburn surmises that something “catastrophic” occurred, like “a bulkhead gave way or something and flooded; maybe a weird wave and the vessel capsized instantly.”
Fans of Deadliest Catch are aware of the many dangers crab fisherman face on a daily basis. Such dangers as catastrophic waves, a fire in the engine room, or ice building up on the crab pots, creating an unbalanced weight situation, are some of the possible catastrophes that can occur while working the most dangerous job in the world.
The Coast Guard believes that finding this wreckage will help them determine what happened. They plan on sending off a dive team to further investigate, and they plan on having a hearing in August to discuss their findings.
After months of crab fishing, Deadliest Catch captain Keith Colburn spoke to the Tampa Bay Times about watching this recent season after having recently lived it. Captain Keith was friends with the captain of the F/V Destination, as well as one of the crewman, and knew both for over 30 years. This loss really hit home for him.
“This season is going to be especially hard to watch after losing one of our own, the Destination fishing vessel and its six crew members. Captain Jeff and Larry O’Grady were friends of mine for over 30 years and losing them was hard. Now when the episode comes out we are forced to relive what happened and be faced with the reality that it could happen to any one of us. The reminder is tough.”
— KING 5 News (@KING5Seattle) July 20, 2017
Keith had previously spoken about the late Captain Jeff and pointed out that the deceased captain was so serious about being focused on fishing, he would never consider going on a show like Deadliest Catch.
Crew of TV’s ‘Deadliest Catch’ mourn loss of Seattle-based crab boat Destination https://t.co/yD4mmo5H5X
— ColorBlind Peacock (@debmichelle) February 17, 2017
The late captain did not want any sort of distractions for his crew or himself; he was very safety conscious. This fact may be what makes this catastrophe all the harder for the current captains working the most dangerous job in the world; even the most careful captain can still lose to the dangers of the Bering Sea.
— Doing Great Things (@BizHelpServices) February 15, 2017
There is some irony here, as in the most recent episode of Deadliest Catch, Captain Keith took the F/V Wizard into a storm to get in some good crab fishing. The risky move paid off, but perhaps he may think twice next time before doing something like that again?
In this recent season, Captain Sig Hansen of the F/V Northwestern showed symptoms of a second heart attack after suffering a “widow maker” last season. Is it possible that his heart problems, coupled with what occurred with the F/V Destination, make him retire?
Have you been watching the Deadliest Catch this season?
[Featured Image by Mireya Acierto/Getty Images]