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Fans Throw Shade On Deadliest Catch For Decision Following Todd's Death

Though "Deadliest Catch" may be a reality TV series, the working conditions for the numerous crews of crab fishermen operating on the Bering Sea are nothing short of extremely dangerous. Rarely has that fact been more apparent than in the wake of the tragic death of cast member Todd Kochutin in 2021, shortly after he sustained grievous injuries from a collision with a heavy crab pot aboard the F/V Patricia Lee fishing vessel. The incident sent shockwaves through both the show's fanbase and the cast themselves, as Kochutin's peers and crewmates mourned his death. The star's passing has continually cast a shadow over the series ever since.

Despite the recent tragedy, "Deadliest Catch" continued onward into its 18th overall season in April. Unfortunately, the program made a particular decision regarding the show's focus in the aftermath of Kochutin's death that some series fans have heavily criticized as being disrespectful to the late series star's memory.

Season 18 features the F/V Patricia Lee

One of the fishing vessels that has been primarily featured thus far on Season 18 of "Deadliest Catch" is none other than the F/V Patricia Lee, the very boat on which Kochutin lost his life just a year prior. Some viewers have since condemned the series for seemingly capitalizing on the buzz and controversy surrounding Kochutin's death. "I think featuring F/V Patricia Lee in the wake of Todd Kochutin's death is truly the lowest hanging fruit Discovery could possibly go for in terms of upping the melodrama," u/8daysuntiltheweekend wrote in a post on the r/deadliestcatch subreddit.

Criticism towards the show's featuring of the F/V Patricia Lee has only continued to mount since Season 18 began, as an early episode saw one of the ship's deckhands, Francis Katungin, sustain serious injuries after yet another unfortunate collision with a loose crab pot. Katungin was subsequently airlifted by the United States Coast Guard for medical treatment. Boat captain Rip Carlton described the situation as "déjà vu."

"My first thought was damn that boat is CURSED or the captain is, wth is going on?" u/SnooSongs9857 commented on a reaction thread to the news. "Really heartbreaking to watch"

In a short period of time, the F/V Patricia Lee has built up an extremely dubious reputation for encapsulating the most dangerous elements of "Deadliest Catch." So long as the show continues to prominently feature the boat, some fans won't be too happy.