Every season on the Bering Sea, the Deadliest Catch captains face something different, whether it’s helping a new captain get his bearings, or brutal weather conditions and dangerous ice making fishing nearly impossible. Broadway World shared that over the past 12 years, the fleet only thought they had seen and done it all. This season of Deadliest Catch will be like no other, forcing the captains and their crews to search harder and further out than ever before for the elusive crab.
The crab seem to have disappeared from all the usual fishing hot spots after the Bering Sea experienced a large temperature spike. With rising temperatures, the Deadliest Catch captains must follow the crab out to deeper and cooler waters. In the last year, the temperature in the Bering Sea has risen a shocking four degrees, which is 50 times the global average. If they can’t find the crab, the Deadliest Catch fleet may be facing a disastrous season and the possible decline of a traditional and time-honored way of life.
“The fleet is going to need to go further and deeper,” said Captain Sig Hansen of the F/V Northwestern. “Nobody is going to take away a fishermen’s way of life. I can guarantee you that this fleet will not quit… But we’re always fearful that this will be our last year.”
On this season of Deadliest Catch, besides working through one of the most grueling seasons of his fishing career, Sig barely survived a major heart attack, known as a widow maker. Sig will have to make some tough decisions, the stressful conditions of another difficult season could damage his health even further. He will have to decide when it’s time to step aside and if he does, will he hand over the Northwestern to his younger brother, Edgar? After his wife, June, informs him that he’s now a grandfather, only time will if the exciting news is enough to affect his decision to stay on as captain or to walk away. Only time will tell if this is the year he says goodbye to the Bering Sea.
After 37 years, Deadliest Catch Captain Johnathan Hillstrand is ready to retire after one final season on the Bering Sea. He was hoping for an easy season to finish off his career, but from the beginning, he faces the first of his problems when he is stuck in Seattle while last-minute repairs are being made to the 113-foot Time Bandit. Like the other captains on Deadliest Catch, he will face one of his toughest seasons he has ever experienced on the unforgiving Bering Sea. Johnathan and his brother, Andy, share co-captain duties aboard the Time Bandit, and perhaps Andy will take over running the fishing vessel when his older brother retires.
Captain Jake Anderson returns for another season of Deadliest Catch on the 108-foot Saga. Once a deckhand on the Northwestern, he’s now been given the opportunity to establish himself when he receives a larger crab quota than anyone else in the entire fleet, but there’s one important condition. If he doesn’t catch the crab in time, he could lose his quota to another captain, and the scarce crab will make it especially difficult on this season of Deadliest Catch.
Due to personal issues last season on Deadliest Catch, Captain Keith Colburn had a tough time keeping his focus on finding the crab and making his quota. This year he is back and more than ready to lead the crab count after tackling his personal demons and addictions that affected him previously.
According to the Salty Dog Boating News, Captain “Wild” Bill Wichrowski will start off the season of Deadliest Catch with a new boat, the F/V Summer Bay. Wild Bill needs everything to work smoothly after making such a huge investment, and news of the absent crab has him concerned. His son, Zack Larson, posted to his Facebook page last fall a photo of the Summer Bay, saying that it needed a little more work before crab season began. It sounds as though is he back working for his father on this season of Deadliest Catch.
Sean Dwyer is the youngest captain in the fleet, and he returns on this season of Deadliest Catch with the Brenna A. Like the others, Sean will struggle to make his quota on the Bering Sea, but he and his crew have the drive and the passion to keep going no matter what issues may arise. After his father’s passing, he has had the responsibility of keeping the family business and his father’s dream alive and so far he has managed to do both.
Many fans of Deadliest Catch are aware that the F/V Cornelia Marie will not be featured this season. Captain Phil Harris ran the Cornelia Marie until he suffered a stroke and died on February 9, 2010. He was a beloved fan favorite, and viewers got to know him and both his sons, Josh and Jake, as they worked alongside their father. Now Josh co-captains with Casey McManus, and although the boat isn’t on the series this season, that doesn’t mean that the Cornelia Marie won’t return to Deadliest Catch in the future.
Fans of Deadliest Catch know that there are myriad dangers on the Bering sea, including rogue waves, hurricane-force winds, and equipment or machinery malfunctions or failures. On this season of Deadliest Catch, the captains and their crews are reminded of just how deadly mother nature can be when the six-member crew of the 95-foot F/V Destination goes missing shortly after setting out in their hunt for the crab. Unfortunately, the search for the F/V Destination has been suspended indefinitely, and all hands were sadly listed as “lost at sea.” According to the F/V Destination Memorial page on Facebook, there will be a memorial service on March 23, 2017. Those interested in attending can check the page for more information.
Are you a fan of Deadliest Catch? Leave your comments, thoughts, and opinions below. Deadliest Catch returns on Tuesday, April 11, at 9 p.m. ET on the Discovery Channel.
[Featured Image by Discovery Channel]