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The Time Deadliest Catch's Keith Colburn Hit The Crab Jackpot Despite Freezing Weather Conditions

When it comes to being a captain of one of the featured boats on Discovery's "Deadliest Catch," the importance of having a solid safety limit understanding goes far beyond the knowledge of how to catch crab. Whether it's deciding when it's time to give the crew a much-needed rest or knowing how far to push a vessel's inner mechanics, understanding exactly how far to go in face of danger can mean the difference between a successful season and a nationally televised tragedy. 

There are multiple unavoidable factors that these fishermen must endure when snagging those pricey crustaceans. Fans know that the obvious roadblock, of course, is the weather. Strong winds causing unpredictable waves threaten to not only damage the vessel, but knock deckhands into heavy equipment, each other, or even overboard. The buildup of ice also plays a dangerous role when it comes to safety concerns. The weight of building frozen water on railings and traps can make the boat top-heavy, making it vulnerable to capsizing. 

While somehow trying to find a way to haul in enough crab to stuff the crews' wallets and staying safe in deadly weather conditions, veteran Captain Keith Colburn of The Wizard knows when to keep moving forward and went to pull the plug. In a recent episode, Colburn watches the above atmospheric conditions change, thrusting his crew into an absolutely freezing work environment. However, despite the dangers, a good captain like Colburn will never ignore a potential bounty that may quickly fill his tanks. But for this go around, was it worth the risk?

Pushing through freezing weather proved to be worth it

Over the 18 seasons of "Deadliest Catch," there have been countless "boat vs. nature" moments. Far from experiencing any level of safety or comfort, Keith Colburn, in Season 18, Episode 22 ("Sub-Zero Scramble"), has to decide how far to push his boat and crew through freezing weather conditions. A veteran at the gig, it's not a surprise that not only does Colburn keep his crew safe, but also manages to capture a jaw-dropping amount of crab.

While Colburn explains to viewers how rough the conditions actually are for his boat, ice can be seen building up on the vessel's top surface. Pointing out how a change in water current direction, combined with wind, can result in disaster, Colburn says, "The weather is horrible today. The current is crashing into the wind and it's stacking these waves up to sharp, nasty, 25-footers." Fans at home then learn that when northern currents meet southerly winds, the crew is exposed to "violent and confused seas."

After deciding how long he believes he can allow his crew to endure these conditions, Colburn pushes forth, over the finish line, to victory (with a little help of crab-pot-luck). Both Colburn and crew rejoice as each pot pulls in an average of 500 good-looking crab. With a drop-off date only sixty hours away, risking safety a little past the comfort line results in these brave fishermen not needing to endure an additional trip to make quota. Luckily for them, and to the relief of Captain Keith Colburn, this was a day on the Bering Sea when knowing the boat's limits paid off in more ways than one.