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Deadliest Catch's Elliott Neese Feared Death During A 3AM Battle With Rough Seas

As the name implies, "Deadliest Catch" is a reality series in which the cast members (crab fishermen working throughout the Bering Sea) consistently find themselves in mortal peril. It's no secret that commercial fishing as a whole remains one of the most dangerous professions in the world, particularly in the tumultuous and freezing conditions of the Bering Sea.

The captains of "Deadliest Catch" are constantly battling against the elements to make sure their ship and crew make it home in one piece, and there have been plenty of close calls and serious injuries both on camera and behind the scenes. In a 2014 interview with Boating Magazine, former Captain Elliot Neese of the F/V Ramblin' Rose recalled one particularly harrowing experience that made him think he would never see the shore again.

"One time, we were setting gear at 3 a.m., and we took a 50-foot wave over the starboard side," Neese said. "Our port rail was underwater, and I was holding onto this greenhorn so he wouldn't be washed overboard. He'd broken his back, his neck, his teeth ... and he was screaming. I've never heard anyone make a noise like that. He sounded like he was dying. That's the most scared I've ever been. I thought I'd never see my wife and kids again." Although every captain must feel a bit of anxiety about the deadly, unpredictable nature of the open ocean, it's clear that this life-threatening experience remains the scariest moment of Elliot Neese's entire career.

Close calls are all too common in Deadliest Catch

While this harrowing moment wasn't caught on camera, there have been plenty of times throughout the series where deckhands and crew members have come close to death, as close calls and grievous injuries are just a part of the job for these bold fishermen.

A few notably terrifying moments include the time when a deckhand fell into the sea and was rescued by the F/V Time Bandit, the time when Sig Hansen's F/V Northwestern completely lost power and almost ran into a nearby dock, and the moment the F/V Summer Bay nearly capsized, leaving captain "Wild" Bill Wichrowski bleeding but alive. Perhaps the most infamous tragedy in "Deadliest Catch" history is the sinking of the F/V Destination, which was not caught on camera but sent shockwaves throughout the fishing industry as all six crew members lost their lives.

While most of the near-death experiences captured in "Deadliest Catch" ultimately have happy endings, Elliot Neese's story is a shocking reminder of how dangerous and unpredictable this profession is, as both the cast and crew of "Deadliest Catch" are constantly risking their lives just by boarding these ships.