BoothBay Register in Maine. Joe Orchulli Ii writes…
The Boothbay region has many hidden treasures buried in the lives its residents.
Dennis Scro of Boothbay, engaged by a Burbank, California production company, is heading to Dutch Harbor, Alaska this winter to film undersea sequences for the Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” TV series.
Scro, who has been in the undersea industry for 30 years, is leading a team of American and Canadian undersea experts who will spend seven days in the Bering Sea on board the 115-foot F/V TimeBandit.
“We will be traveling 30 hours offshore from Dutch Harbor to film a fishing vessel lost during a past episode, film Ophelia crab pots on bottom and perhaps film a concentration of king crabs in their habitat. The producers will incorporate undersea footage into the series.
The team will be equipped with The DeepWorker 2000, a state-of the-art submersible that has a shooting schedule working in 300-1000-foot ocean depths. HDTV cameras and special HMI lighting will provide stunning subsea imaging according to Scro.
In addition, a Sub-Atlantic remotely operated vehicle (ROV) equipped with multiple cameras and manipulators will be readied for weather days when the sub may not be able to be deployed. The ROV is capable of operating in ocean depths to 5000-feet.
Dutch Harbor, which is part of the Aleutian Island chain, is the staging point for the King Crab fishing fleet. The F/V TimeBandit will travel 30 hours to reach the rich fishing grounds off Island St. Paul in the center of the Bering Sea between Russia and Alaska.
Film crews will be stationed on eight vessels to film all the action at sea in the rush to harvest the King Crab in a ultra short season where men risk their lives and their vessels for profit. The show depicts their courage, fears, dangers, the losses and the rewards of a special breed of fisherman. Extreme weather at sea puts these men in almost constant peril from drowning, hypothermia and severe injuries from nets, ropes and heavy equipment.
The “Deadliest Catch” has produced 22 episodes over the last two years and has begun the third season. Mike Rowe, host of The Discovery Channel’s “Dirty Jobs” will be in Dutch Harbor for part of the mobilization as will the Deadliest Catch production company president.
“This is a relatively shallow water project for the seasoned team of undersea experts. Our challenges will be hatched on the Bering Sea, where weather conditions can easily whip up 30-40-foot seas and cause ice havoc aboard the vessel. Our team will need to be extra vigilant, hope for the best shooting conditions, and be prepared for the worst,” Scro said.
Scro is no stranger to deep ocean survey, having spent several decades working with deep ocean specialists on a number of well-known projects in ocean depths to 17,000 feet.
Scro worked in Washington D.C. with undersea specialists under government contract to the USN.
He has been involved in commercial projects for National Geographic, the History Channel and the Discovery Channel. He was involved in the analysis of lost WWII warship vessels in several oceans where the undersea teams deployed real time video feeds from the deep ocean depths which were transmitted by satellite live into Washington, D.C.
The second season of “Deadliest Catch” was a big success for Discovery, emerging as one of the network’s highest-rated series and scoring a pair of Primetime Emmy Award nominations plus a Creative Emmy Nomination. Season three begins production this fall and is scheduled to air in spring 2007.
Scro has lived in Boothbay for many years. He accepted a challenging executive assignment in D.C sixteen years ago, returning here several years ago, and is semi-retired and still involved in consulting. He maintains an office in Houston.