Deadliest Catch

The Deadliest Catch Crew Member Who’s More Qualified Than We Realized

The Deadliest Catch Crew Member Who's More Qualified Than We Realized

Captain Sig Hansen on ship on the deadliest catch

If you’ve ever wondered by crab legs are so expensive, all you have to do is tune in to an episode of the Discovery Channel’s ” The Deadliest Catch.” Since 2005, the reality show has been enticing viewers with a look into the lives of crew members on board crab fishing boats in the Bering Sea. The word “deadliest” is in the name for a reason. According to Discovery, crab fishing is the “deadliest job in the world.” Crews have to battle against constant icy weather, gale-force winds, and 20-foot tall waves. On top of the weather conditions, crews also have to manage the ginormous 750-pound crab pots, which if not carefully handled, could result in a lost limb or even death.

Over the years, quite a few sad moments have surrounded “Deadliest Catch,” in part due to the dangerous nature of the show’s central job. For one, the ship F/V Destination sank in 2017 with its entire crew on board, plus several of the show’s cast members have tragically died.

All of this is to say that not just anybody can walk onto a crab fishing boat. You have to be a very experienced fisherman to take to the Bering Sea. Just look at Captain “Wild” Bill Wichrowski as an example.

Captain ‘Wild’ Bill Wichrowski boasts extensive fishing experience

Captain wild bill talking to crew deadliest catch

In Season 6, veteran fisherman Captain “Wild” Bill Wichrowski made his “The Deadliest Catch” debut and he’s been a staple on the show ever since. After graduating high school in 1975, Wichrowski joined the Navy, according to his website. Then after four years of service, he joined a crabbing boat in Alaska after meeting a few members of the crew. “They were so full of life and excitement. They also had a pocketful of cash and new cars,” he told in 2020. “I thought to myself, ‘It’s time for all my training, schooling, and background to kick in.’ I landed in Alaska and that was the beginning. That was 41 years ago.”

Over the course of 20 years, Wichrowski worked his way up from greenhorn, aka rookie, to captain, until he partially retired from the profession in 2005 to run sportfishing tours. He also has plenty of experience as a naval engineer and boat electrician, which must be invaluable when a technical failure occurs on a boat in the middle of the sea.

Now back in action on board the F/V Summer Bay, Wichrowski just wrapped up his toughest fishing season yet thanks to the pandemic, captured in Season 17 of “The Deadliest Catch.” In an exclusive interview with Looper, Wichrowski said, “This is probably the most difficult season I’ve ever endured, and I’ve been coming up here since ’78.” He continued, “Everything was so difficult, just to get off the ground and get out of town.”

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