There are two kinds of captains on Deadliest Catch: those who fight against waves and those who work with them. While both types of crab fishermen may be successful, the ones that learn to use the conditions of the Bering Sea to their advantage will likely bring home bigger paychecks.
At least, that’s what Captain Keith Colburn’s intention was when he steered The Wizard through 20- to 25-foot waves. Instead of keeping his crew in the cabin, he decided to call all hands on deck as he tried to locate his crab pots in the volatile waters. With decades of experience on the Bering Sea, the Deadliest Catch captain had learned how to position and maneuver his massive vessel in relation to the waves and current. Instead of trying to avoid them, he decided to steer into them perpendicularly so that the southerly winds pushed the boat sideways towards the next buoy.
“It’s not Crab Fishing 101,” Colburn explained fromo the captain’s chair. “This is advanced crab. Instead of fighting the ocean, you’re trying to work with the ocean. But she will remind you who’s in charge.”
With the portside wall providing coverage to the Deadliest Catch crew, it seemed like a solid plan. But that was before the combers reached 30-feet tall.
Check out what happens when several swells take the Deadliest Catch crew by surprise.
‘Deadliest Catch’ Captain Might Need to Rethink His Decision
For a while, Colburn’s risky decision to carry on business on the water seemed to be paying off. The pots that the crew pulled from the dark waters were packed full of crustaceans. And, according to one crew member, they had some quality catch on the sorting table. But at some point, the risk is no longer worth the reward.
Thankfully, the Deadliest Catch captain came to this realization before anyone on deck suffered any injuries.
From his view behind the steering wheel, Colburn could only offer so much notice before another swell rocked the deck and battered the crew. The portside wall helped weaken these waves to an extent, but the deckhands still had to literally hold on for dear life so that the water didn’t whisk them right off the edge of the rocking boat.
Finally, after the second or third 30-footer (that we saw), the Deadliest Catch captain decided it was time to call it quits. He instructed his crew to finish up with their current pot and head back to safety in the cabin. Colburn still had plenty of pots in the water, but he couldn’t bear to watch his crew struggle through the conditions any longer.
“It’s time to call it quits on this attempt,” Colburn concluded before telling his crew, “This little rodeo just came to a close.”