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Deadliest Catch Greenhorns Are Always Equipped With A Knife (For Good Reason, Too)

No matter how long you've been watching Discovery's "Deadliest Catch," it doesn't take much time to observe the mind-blowing amount of equipment and gear required to not only achieve a successful crab-catching season but to also keep all crew members safe. Of course, the items that each deckhand uses are mostly linked to the actual reason these brave fisherman trek across the Bering Sea: to make a living hauling crab. Ropes, bait boxes, and 700-pound pots are just a drop in the chum bucket when adding up all the essentials. But when it comes to safety, the choice of equipment becomes all that more important — and some are surprised that an item as small as your hand can make the difference between life and death.

With over 300 episodes spanning over 18 years, fans have seen a laundry list of possible dangers crews face when braving these treacherous Alaskan waters. Something as simple as not wearing the proper clothing or boots can result in skin issues which can quickly bring about the end of a season for the sufferer. For greenhorns (brand new deckhands), these lessons are unfortunately sometimes taught the hard way. Not fully paying attention to a swinging pot, sliding equipment, or even other deckhands can result in serious injury. However, there is one unfortunate event that the crew and captains clearly fear the most, and something as simple as a sharp knife can be what prevents it from actually happening.

A quick knife swipe can save a life

When looking at all the essential items that greenhorns are immediately given for their safety, it's surprising that something as small as a sharp knife can be at the top of the list of importance. Both Michael Strahan and Kelly Ripa had that same head-scratching reaction when they observed a presentation of the equipment shown by Captains Keith Colburn and Sig Hansen when they were on "LIVE with Kelly and Michael." While promoting "Deadliest Catch," Colburn and Hansen had the show's hosts suit up as if they were greenhorns about to go on their first crab-catching adventure. This was when Ripa and Strahan acted surprised when they were given knives and wondered what made this accessory so important.

When Strahan saw the knife, his train of thought was a little off base. "Am I filleting a fish?" he asked. Colburn, rather than explaining verbally, was able to show the reason greenhorns would be given sharp knives to have on them at all times, as he wrapped a fishing line around Strahan's neck. "Because if you get tangled up in this stuff, you want to be able to cut it off, right?" explained Colburn. The captains went on to detail how not only a fishing line or rope can choke you, but it could also pull you overboard. Therefore, it is essential that these greenhorns have immediate access to the one tool that can free them from potential doom.