The Boat at the Bottom of the Sea

Captain William Prout was up early. Or was it late? During crabbing season it was sometimes hard to tell the difference. The day before, Friday, February 10, 2017, Prout and his crew had offloaded a batch of snow crab on the remote Bering Sea island of St. Paul. Then they’d turned the Silver Spray around and motored back out to the fishing grounds to collect their remaining crab pots. At 5am on Saturday, Prout pulled his anchor and pointed his bow southeast. Hours of darkness still remained—dawn came late on the Bering Sea in February. Captain Prout stayed in the wheelhouse, drinking coffee with his son and looking out at the icy night, as the Silver Spray churned along. >click to read<20:06

Podcast: “F/V Destination, Do You Copy?”

It was the kind of disaster that wasn’t supposed to happen anymore. On February 11, 2017, the fishing vessel Destination disappeared in the Bering Sea on its way to the crab grounds. The boat went missing with an experienced crew, in unremarkable weather conditions, yet there was no mayday and rescue crews could find no life raft or survivors. For the past year, reporter Stephanie May Joyce has been following the investigation into what went wrong, and how this mysterious tragedy has changed Alaskan fishing. >click to listen<18:01

One Year After The Sinking, Crab Fishermen Remember The F/V Destination — And Take Extra Precautions

This Sunday, Feb. 11 marks the one-year anniversary of the loss of the F/V Destination. Its sinking ranks as the Bering Sea crab fleet’s deadliest accident in more than a decade. While the cause remains a mystery, memories of the crew are inspiring fishermen to stay extra safe this winter.,, Almost a year later, the tragedy is still fresh in the minds of many fishermen, especially crabbers who are out dropping pots in the same area the Destination went down. “Do I think about it?” asked Captain Rip Carlton of the F/V Patricia Lee. “Yes.” >click to read< 13:58

Beyond Deadliest Catch: The Fisherman in Pursuit of One of the World’s Great Delicacies

Dan Jansen had been awake for about a day and a half on his first-ever trip as captain of a crab-fishing boat way back in 1986. When there was finally a lull, Jansen left the wheelhouse to get some rest. His eyes hadn’t been shut for more than 15 minutes when he heard what sounded like an explosion. In the time it took for his feet to swivel from his bunk to the floor, Jansen’s stateroom had filled up with more than a foot of water. click here to read the story 10:46

Seattle-based Alaska crab fleet alerted to new hazard: They’re carrying heavier pots

Alaska crab boats carry stability reports meant to guide the safe loading of up to several hundred crab pots that may be used to bring in a catch from the turbulent Bering Sea. But Coast Guard spot checks found that most of these documents significantly underestimate the weights of the steel-framed pots. The checks were spurred by a Coast Guard investigation into the Feb. 11 sinking of the Seattle-based Destination and the loss of all six of its crew. One of the vessel’s pots — retrieved from the Bering Sea bottom in July — was found to weigh more than the Destination’s stability report had assumed, according to testimony in a Marine Board of Investigation into the disaster. click here to read the story 10:46