The ‘Deadliest Catch’ Fleet Grapples With The Loss Of F/V Destination On The Season Finale

Every season, fans of Deadliest Catch watch as the fleet pulls crab from the dangerous waters of the Bering Sea. The crews are so good at what they do that viewers can easily forget just how difficult it can be to fish for the elusive crab. The previous episode of Deadliest Catch aptly titled “Lost at Sea” drove that point home when the six-member crew of the F/V Destination disappeared.

On February 11 around 6:15 a.m., the vessel sent out an emergency signal, and the Coast Guard quickly responded. Upon their initial investigation, which was aired on the show, the EPIRB (Emergency Position Indication Radio Beacon) was tracked, and a debris field was discovered. Before the segment on the Destination tragedy aired, Captain Keith Colburn had an issue of his own with stability when water began leaking into his fuel tank, and his fishing vessel, the Wizard, began to list to one side. The loss of stability has been a major factor in many accidents, and stability can be affected by several factors, such as what the boat carries and how loads are distributed.

As word got out about the incident, captains and crews across the Bering Sea were shocked and devastated by the news. Captain Sig Hansen was heartbroken, and his mind was no longer on reaching his crab quota, so he decided to return to Dutch Harbor. He was close friends with the Destination’s captain, Jeff Hathaway, and it was probably a good idea for him to turn back. Since his heart attack, the last thing he needed was the added stress of running the Northwestern while trying to come to terms with what happened to his friend and the other crew members on board the lost vessel.

Although skippers and crews don’t always see eye-to-eye, and tempers sometimes flare, this is a tight-knit fishing community, and the loss hit everyone hard. As the news traveled across the fleet, almost everyone seemed to know someone who worked on the Destination. Besides Captain Hathaway, those lost aboard the Destination included Larry O’Grady, Raymond Vincler, Darrik Seibold, Charles G. Jones, and Kai Hamik.

According to Alaska Public Media, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirmed that F/V Destination was found nearly 250 feet underwater. The Coast Guard recently conducted two weeks of public hearings investigators to help them determine why the Destination sank. The Seattle Times reported that after listening to testimony from more than 30 people, freezing spray and a deck full of stacked crab pots may have been major contributing factors.

Fans of the show have seen firsthand how dangerous ice buildup can be on the boats. Crew members often resort to using anything available to break off huge pieces of ice that can cover every part of the vessel, and getting the heavy steel crab pots off the deck is of paramount importance when they are coated in ice. On the season finale of Deadliest Catch, the Coast Guard will be called upon once again to rescue the crew of another fishing vessel as it takes on water.

Are you a fan of the show? Leave your comments, thoughts, and opinions below. The season finale of Deadliest Catch airs Tuesday, August 29 at 9 p.m. ET on the Discovery Channel.

[Featured Image by Discovery Channel]