Original press release for season one, published in Jan 2005
DISCOVERY CHANNEL EMBARKS ON DEATH-DEFYING MISSION IN DEADLIEST CATCH
Alaskan crab-wranglers Encounter Most Dangerous Working Conditions in New 10-part series Premiering in April
SILVER SPRING, Md., Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ — Forty-foot waves. Eighty mile-per-hour winds. Seven-hundred-pound crab pots slamming against the deck. A nearly 100% injury rate. But a bounty big enough to drive mere mortals to this treacherous work year after year. It’s the world’s deadliest job — where a man could die every week — the most macho of manly occupations: the Alaskan crab fisherman. In April, Discovery Channel premieres a new 10-part series, featuring the wild and treacherous life of the crab fisherman in DEADLIEST CATCH.Deep in the frigid waters of the Bering Sea lurks one of the most sought after prizes in the world, the highly coveted and lucrative Alaska King Crab. Each year, a fleet of 250+ boats spreads out across the sea, awaiting the official harvesting season. It could be four days in length or as many as twelve. Yet these rogue fishermen won’t know until the voice of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game crackles across their radios to announce the beginning and end of the race. This uncertainty results in crewmembers pulling 20-hour shifts in sub-freezing weather, exposed to the harsh elements on a slick deck pitching to and fro. The harried, exhausted crew pursues only one purpose: catching as many King Crabs as possible before the season authorities come back over the radio, and the season abruptly ends. This dramatic ten-part series will document the end of an era — what veteran crab fishermen are calling “The Last Rodeo.” Because many believe this race against the clock contributes to the high injury and mortality rate, the frenzied world of crab fishing as they have always known it will soon change forever. After this year, Alaskan authorities will eliminate the traditional time element from crab fishing. A simple, slowed down seasonal quota system will go into effect and the ticking clock of crab fishing will be silenced. DEADLIEST CATCH takes viewers on one last voyage during the final perilously abbreviated season.Why do men risk life and limb every season? Perhaps it’s because crab fishing in the Bering Sea is thought to be one of the last great gold rushes on earth. In a good year, an experienced deck hand working a short eight-week period can bring home almost $50,000. But the potential to make big money fast brings with it an all too often tragic consequence: crushed fingers, crippled hands, cracked ribs, broken feet and even men overboard. Those are on-the-job hazards where death is more common than in any other occupation in the world.
DEADLIEST CATCH is produced for Discovery Channel by Original Productions. Thom Beers is executive producer. For Discovery Channel, David McKillop is executive producer.