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What crab boat sank on Deadliest Catch?

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

One of the biggest fears of any boat captain heading out into the wild Bering Sea is that of being lost or capsized, losing the crew slipping into the inky black ice-cold waters with no hope of rescue.

That’s what happened to one crab boat, and others in the Dutch Harbor fleet know all too well the dangers that face them every time they leave port. The F/V Destination was lost in open waters.

Previously, Deadliest Catch addressed this loss in one episode where the captains recall how they heard the news.

The frightening thing was the ship just vanished. It had no mayday, no telltale signs of anything amiss.

F/V Destination what do we know?

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

The Seattle-based crabbing boat went down without a mayday call.

Discovery paid tribute to the lost lives and show producers wanted to show viewers that these men take their lives into their hands every time they leave the docks to go crabbing.

The series is no joke, a serious business with life and death consequences all the time.

The vanishing of this boat stunned a Bering Sea crabbing industry, and the last messages, sightings, and words of their friends left a mark on the core cast of the series, who have seen their share of tragedy over the years.

F/V Destination, the reported facts

Officials speculated about what happened to Destination, but the Deadliest Catch captains, when interviewed by Discovery, each had their own theories.

They shared recollections and what might have gone wrong in the sinking that killed Captain Jeff Hathaway and five others.

What could have sunk Destination?

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

  • Bulbous bow (front of ship)
  • Not 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.  The recalled the moment:

“If I could get everyone to be completely silent for a moment and respect the time these guys put into the Bering Sea,” said emcee and crabber Casey McManus.

McManus then settled the crowd down, so the bell-ringing could begin — a tradition fo when you lose a fisherman.

“The first one is going to be Captain Jeff Hathaway, Larry O’Grady … Charles Glenn Jones … Raymond J. Vincler … Kai Hamik … and Darrik Seibold.”

The consensus was that the Destination was a great boat with a very professional experienced crew.

The captains publicly mourned the loss of their friends.

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?”

Saga Captain Jake Anderson said: “I want to know what happened to that boat because I don’t want it to happen to me.”

Deadliest Catch airs Tuesday at 8 PM ET/PT.

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April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer and television critic. She is a current member of the Television Critics Association (TCA), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment... read more
April Neale
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