Exclusive: Deadliest Catch explores what happened to the crabbing vessel Destination that perished

Jake Anderson recalls how the ship was there one minute, and gone in a flash
Jake Anderson recalls how the ship was there one minute, and gone in a flash. Pic credit: Discovery

Stories about ships that disappear from all radar are the stuff of nightmares for anyone who works out on the open waters. And Tuesday’s Deadliest Catch will use the episode to recall the shock all the captains experienced as they learned in real time a peer, friend and fellow captain simply vanished –no mayday, no telltale signs of anything amiss.

Destination, the Seattle-based crab boat that went down on Saturday morning, Feb. 11, 2017, claimed the lives of all six fishermen, which included Captain Jeff Hathaway.

The Seattle-based Destination went down without a mayday call and as a tribute to the lost lives, Discovery and show producers are running the episode partially as a reminder to those who watch the series that crabbing is no joke, a serious business with life and death consequences all the time.

The Destination vanishing in a flash stunned a Bering Sea crabbing industry, and the last messages, sightings, and words of their friends have deeply haunted the core cast of the series, who have seen their share of tragedy over the years.

What happened to Destination now has been intelligently speculated upon by officials, but the Deadliest Catch captains we all know so well each take turns talking about their recollections and how they are haunted by what may have gone wrong in the sinking that killed Captain Jeff Hathaway and five others.

The moment Sig Hansen realized Hathaway was lost at sea. Pic credit: Discovery
The moment Sig Hansen realized Hathaway was lost at sea. Pic credit: Discovery

What could have sunk Destination?

According to The Seattle Times, officials say these factors were likely culprits:

  • Bulbous bow (front of ship)
  • No enough ports for water deck drainage (ice on deck weight)
  • Incorrect crab pot weights
  • No safety and stability checks
  • Rogue wave

What did the captains do when they heard?

According to news affiliate KUCB:

The other captains were at a bar called the Norwegian Rat when the word spread.

“If I could get everyone to be completely silent for a moment and respect the time these guys put into the Bering Sea,” says emcee and crabber Casey McManus.  McManus settles the crowd down, so the bell-ringing can begin.It’s a tradition: When you lose a fisherman, you ring a bell in his honor.  “The first one is going to be Captain Jeff Hathaway, Larry O’Grady … Charles Glenn Jones … Raymond J. Vincler … Kai Hamik … and Darrik Seibold.”

What the captains said on Deadliest Catch

All the Deadliest Catch captains were interviewed about the loss of Destination on Tuesday’s episode.

The consensus was that Destination was a great boat with a very professional experienced crew. After a two-year investigation, the mystery must be solved. The fishing community as a whole was hit hard.

The captains mourned the loss of their friends and noted that for so many years, most people thought crab fishing was safe for the first time and then comes the loss of a boat with all hands on board dying.

Speaking to the camera, Captain Sig Hansen said: “It was a shot across the bow because you really didn’t expect that to happen…it just doesn’t make sense, what happened so fast that the guys couldn’t get up a mayday?”

Somber and reflective, Captain Jake Anderson says: “I want to know what happened to that boat because I don’t want it to happen to me.”

Tune in Tuesday to learn about Destination and the colorful men who were lost to the frigid water.

Deadliest Catch airs Tuesday at 9/8c on Discovery.

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