- 1 Everything on the Line
The 2008 King crab fleet faces huge stakes - before boats even cast off. Skippers Keith and Phil could be sidelined by life threatening illnesses and all the boats are in debt from summer repairs. A skipper is pressured to take a potentially fatal risk.
Air Date: 2009-04-14
- 2 Red Skies in the Morning
A vicious storm kicks up and a Mayday goes out. The Skippers are glued to their radios -- waiting to hear the fate of 11 brother fishermen in distress...
Air Date: 2009-04-21
- 3 Stay Focused or Die
The fleet is still dialing into the crab, and already a typhoon has taken its toll. A boat has sunk - and bone-chilling accounts of the fate of its men relay around the fleet.
Air Date: 2009-04-28
- 4 Put Up or Shut Up
ItÂ¹s week four of King Crab Season. Seven souls have perished, but the fishermen soldier on, in the hunt for crab. Grueling hours and vicious hazing test the Greenhorns -- and some start to crack.
Air Date: 2009-05-05
- 5 Long Haul, Short Fuses
Crab pots still come up empty and the skippers are out of ideas. Low bait and long grinds take our crews to dark places -- the smallest infractions from a Greenhorn or fellow Deckhand cause tempers and even violence to flare.
Air Date: 2009-05-12
- 6 Deadline
A new deadline is set: an upcoming drop in the price of king crab has the skippers rushing to finish their season. But crew battles and a fierce arctic storm block the way.
Air Date: 2009-05-19
- 7 Down to the Wire
The king crab season is down to the wire and skippers are desperate to top off their quotas. It's looking bleak as crews pick through bone-yards of fished out grounds. Some boats dig deep for an end of season sprint, while other boats only scrape by. On the Northwestern, skipper Sig is forced to radio fish in the 11th hour. On the Cornelia Marie, skipper Murray tries to maintain control as simmering crew frustrations boil over. The Time Bandit has already ended their season, but they're contenders to claim the captains' wager. In the end, some men will glory in big pay offs -- while others will be glad just to have survived.
Air Date: 2009-05-26
- 8 Payback Time
The 2008 King crab season is over with and It's the start of the 2009 Opilio Crab Season. Anything the Bering Sea held back during King Season is now being paid out in spades. The skippers have their eyes on the oncoming ice pack -- but it's a lethal, 40-foot rogue wave that's on the hunt.
Air Date: 2009-06-02
- 9 No Second Chances
In this episode the fleet arrives on the Opi Grounds and boats struggle with ice, big seas, and bad information to hunt down the crab. A skipper regrets sending his men out in savage weather to save the boat but there are no second chances on the Bering Sea.
Air Date: 2009-06-09
- 10 Sea of Misery
It's week three of the Opilio Crab Season. Long hours and miserable conditions already have the crabbers turning on each other. Boat-crushing ice stands between one skipper and the safety of harbor.
Air Date: 2009-06-16
- 11 Lockout
After weeks battling freezing spray, forty foot waves, and sub-zero temperatures, skippers have begun plugging their boats with Opilio crab. As they race to St. Paul harbor for offload, the 250,000 square mile arctic ice pack stands in their way.
Air Date: 2009-06-23
- 12 A Slap in the Face or Kick in the Butt
Halfway through the season, each skipper faces his own personal form of hell. Frozen crab, frozen gear, and a frozen harbor chill the hearts of the most callous of fishermen. On the Northwestern, Sig battles a fierce cigarette addiction-and a fierce storm
Air Date: 2009-06-30
- 13 Ends of the Earth
When the fleet gets word of great fishing by the ice pack, the chase is on to the ends of the earth! Two egos collide, when Keith and Phil fight over fishing turf. Sick of hauling mangled, barnacle-ridden crab down south, Captain Harry on the Incentive faces his fears and climbs north to frozen waters. While aboard the Northwestern, Sig pushes his crew and himself to the edge of insanity with a sleepless, 38 hour grind. Hellacious hours and missing pots-a journey to the far north will push these men over the edge.
Air Date: 2009-07-07
- 14 Bitter Tears
After three consecutive 25-hour shifts with poor numbers, dirty crab, and 400,000 pounds (180,000 kg) left in their quota, the crew of the Northwestern begins to think of home. On deck, a slip by Greenhorn Jake Anderson nearly causes him to be crushed under a pot being brought on board. On board the Wizard, Greenhorn Josh Warner tells Captain Keith Colburn that he will be getting off the boat at the end of this trip so that he can see his brother who is shipping off to Iraq. Captain Keith decides that a distracted Josh is a liability on deck and pulls him off the deck. The Cornelia Marie is back to averaging 600 keepers per pot now that the she is no longer sharing fishing grounds with the Wizard. Greenhorn Ryan Simpson accidentally steps into the crab tank, earning the rest of crew a case of beer when they get back into town. The crew of the Wizard is working a 15 hour grind with big numbers. A radio call alerts them about the approaching ice pack, forcing the crew to stack their pots on deck and move to different grounds. The Time Bandit has returned after two days to the pots she had dropped 2 miles (3.2 km) from the ice pack before running to an offload. However, at the designated spot, the pots are nowhere to be found. After some searching, Captain Andy Hillstrand locates their pots and gets good numbers from them. He decides to set back on the same spot. On board the Northwestern, Deckhand Nick Mavar, Jr's wife calls with the news that Jake's sister, Chelsea Dawn Anderson, has died. Nick tells the news to Jake and the Northwestern heads to St. Paul so that Jake can go home to be with his family. After a 47-hour shift, the crew of the Time Bandit hits the rack. Captain Johnathan Hillstrand is at the wheel monitoring the ice pack that is 5 miles (8.0 km) from their northern pots. When he receives a radio report on the movement of the pack, he rouses the crew so they can move all 80 of their pots before the ice pack reaches them. Unfortunately, the 80 pots do not have enough crab in them to fill the boat and they must reset all 80 pots away from the ice pack. The Northwestern is 1 mile (1.6 km) outside of St. Paul when the crew transfers Jake to another boat that is heading in to port to offload. Deck Boss Edgar Hansen tells Jake that they will not likely hire somebody to fill his spot and they will work a four man deck.
Air Date: 2009-07-14
- 15 Day of Reckoning
The Opilio season is almost over, but an arctic storm front has the skippers on edge. The boats race to plug their tanks with crab and get back to port unscathed. On the first boat to finish, a tight knit crew fractures.
Air Date: 2009-07-21
- 16 Shipwrecked
The fleet receives a PAN PAN call that a fishing vessel has taken on water off Akutan Island. A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk arrives on scene to find the Icy Mist grounded on the western shore of Akutan. The Jayhawk crew attempt to lower their rescue basket to the deck of the boat, but 50 mph (80 km/h) gusts force the crew to abort the rescue attempt. Radio communication is lost with the boat and the crew decides to attempt to go on shore using a line attached to a cod pot that was knocked off the deck and washed ashore. After all four crew members make it ashore and climb part way up a cliff, the Jayhawk lowers the rescue basket and hoists all four crew members to safety. The rescued crew men are taken to Dutch Harbor as news of the rescue spreads across the fleet. Still in the middle of the storm, the Wizard has 15,000 pounds (6,800 kg) left in her quota. With terrible conditions out on deck, Captain Keith Colburn tells the crew to launch a pot, ready the next pot in the launcher, and then quickly return inside. The crew repeats this process into the last of her 20 pots are launched. The Northwestern is riding out the storm on the lee side of St. Paul. A radio call goes out that the Nuka Island, only 600 yards (550 m) behind the Northwestern, has rolled 90Â° to starboard. The Sea Star heads over to Nuka Island to assist, but Nuka Island's captain Norman Lennon has already stabilized the boat and no assistance is needed. The Wizard still finds herself in the storm after 20 hours, but her battles through the weather to haul the last pots of the season. Captain Keith decides that conditions are too hazardous and pulls the crew off the deck. Moments later, a 40-foot (12 m) wave crashes over the deck, causing the pots on deck to crash into the rail. When dawn breaks, Captain Keith orders the crew out to secure the deck and the pots. When the crew is slow to follow Captain Keith's orders, he orders them inside for a pep talk to get them to move faster. Nine hours later, the crew pulls the last pot of the season from the sea. On board the Cornelia Marie, the storm has passed and Josh Harris is on the rail to throw the hook for the last string of the season to show his father, Captain Phil Harris, that he is ready to become a full share deck hand. Josh bets the crew a case of beer that he will not miss any of his throws with the hook. Captain Phil does not make things easy for Josh. On the second to last throw, Josh makes the toss, but drops the buoy when trying to hook it to the block. Josh says that was a "drop" not a "miss" so does not lose the bet. Captain Phil makes the last toss have to be a long one with the boat moving at a fast speed. Josh makes the difficult toss to the surprise of the crew. Captain Phil presents his son with a gold chain for the work he has done this past season. The fleet returns to their home ports until the next season.
Air Date: 2009-07-28
- 17 Day of Reckoning
For two decades the Alaskan crab fleet has been haunted by the legendary "Black Sunday" storm-a day with seas so fierce that many maydays hailed over the radio. Now, history repeats itself! A massive arctic storm slams the crab fleet. Captain Harry on the Incentive recounts the barrage of waves from Black Sunday and watches the same lethal conditions pound his boat. On the Cornelia Marie, Captain Phil relives the day when he feared he would not return to his family. Now, the Coast Guard must race to save a boat splintering against jagged rocks-before the next mayday pulls them away. With most of the Coast Guard assets deployed, the Skippers are forced to fend for themselves.
Air Date: 2009-07-21
- 19 Shipwrecked
t's the final 24 hours of the 2009 Opilio Crab season. A savage arctic storm causes multiple vessels to send out maydays. The Coast Guard is in a race against the clock to save four men before their boat is pounded into splinters against jagged rocks. It's a game of cat and mouse between Keith on the Wizard and the Bering Sea-as the Skipper repeatedly sends his men out to fish-and pulls them back at the brink of being wiped out. Skipper Sig on the Northwestern is anchored-but still finds himself in a battle for survival when hellish winds push him towards the rocks. The weather raging around the Cornelia Marie tests Skipper Phil Harris and his two sons body and soul. What should be a sprint to victory for the crabbers, as they wrap up their seasons-could become a fleet wide disaster.
Air Date: 2009-07-28