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The Heart-Stopping Moment When Deadliest Catch's Kyle Nearly Avoided Serious Injury

Since 2005, Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch" has provided audiences with thrilling moments from a dangerous fishing industry. The crab fishing that takes place in the Bering Sea comes with its own natural dangers defined by freezing water, outside air, and rough waves that can rise out of nowhere. Additionally, the threats that come with the job itself are perilous and constant even for the most experienced of captains, deckhands, and deck bosses. To say that working on "Deadliest Catch" is tough is certainly an understatement.

One of these risks is working with the crab pots, which require intense maneuvering to adjust, position, and clear the catch. Weighing between 400 to 700 pounds, with dimensions of 7 feet by 3 feet (via crubbinghub.com), these pots become potentially life-threatening missiles if a pot isn't properly latched onto the hydraulic system. For deckhands, this requires a level of extreme caution to avoid danger, as experienced by deckhand Kyle Craig from the Cornelia Marie vessel.

Dodging a swinging crab pot can be a life or death situation

In Season 15, Episode 11 titled "Hell Hath No Fury," the crew of the Cornelia Marie was tasked with working during Arctic Storm Elsa which whipped up rogue waves and ice that stuck to the deck floor. The protective gear and slip-resistant boots worn by the crew can only do so much when an arctic storm increases the risks of the working conditions. As deckhand Kyle Craig told the Discovery Channel filming crew, "the winds out here are at least 60+ miles per hour at this point." Captains Casey McManus and Josh Harris agreed that any increase in wind and waves would have to force them to shut down work.

At this point, a crab pot was brought in from the icy sea as a rogue wave tilted the boat upward causing the pot to swing uncontrollably in the air. Craig lost his footing on the frozen deck which prevented him from guiding the pot into the hydraulic system. The slip knocked him back onto the ground while the massive pot swung with force missing his head by only a few inches. Facing an unrelenting storm and hazardous conditions on deck, and a close call with severe injury or death for Craig, the captains closed down fishing until the storm passed.

Sadly, Craig passed away in 2021 (via Discovery) unrelated to his career in the crabbing industry.