Captain Rick Shelford Is As Experienced as They Come On 'Deadliest Catch'

Captain Rick Shelford is an experienced fisherman on 'Deadliest Catch' and he's in charge of the Aleutian Lady, but who is he on and off the show?

Chrissy Bobic - Author

May 9 2023, Published 8:45 a.m. ET

The only thing more important than the fishing vessels used on any given season of Deadliest Catch are the cast members, Mainly, the captains. Which is why so many viewers are curious about who Captain Rick Shelford is on Deadliest Catch and how impressive his own boat, the Aleutian Lady, is in real life.

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Spoiler alert: just like Rick, the shipping vessel is the real deal. And when it comes to Deadliest Catch, both are in good company as the cast goes on fishing expeditions that are sometimes deadly and not always incredibly profitable. But Rick is a fourth generation Alaskan fisherman and doing what he does is literally in his blood.

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Who is Captain Rick Shelford on 'Deadliest Catch'?

Rick is a dedicated fishing vessel captain on and off the show. Outside of Deadliest Catch, Rick has been working as a captain for more than a decade. But just because he comes from a long line of fishermen, it doesn't mean Rick's career was just handed to him by any means. In fact, he worked hard and moved through the ranks to get to where he is today.

According to the official website for Shelford Fisheries, Rick started off in 1997 as a green horn, which is someone who works alongside a deckhand and is treated as though they have no fishing experience. He moved up to become an engineer and then captain who is ready and prepared for anything at sea, whether it involves actual fish and crab or the mechanics of a ship.

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The website says that Rick is "is well-versed in refrigeration, hydraulics, and propulsion systems." And, as viewers see on Deadliest Catch, that's an accurate description of what Rick is capable of.

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Captain Rick is in charge of the Aleutian Lady.

Rick, along with the Aleutian Lady, are part of Deadliest Catch Season 19. Although the show doesn't always feature a captain and a vessel as an established duo unlikely to split up, that seems to be the case for Rick and the Aleutian Lady. And while it's unclear where the boat is right now, it was last tracked in February 2023 at Dutch Harbor in Alaska.

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Captain Rick comes from a long line of Alaskan fishermen.

Rick comes from a line of Alaskan fisherman and his father owns and runs Shelford Fisheries, which started in 1995. Rick also has a son, Preston, though it's unclear if he, too, will follow in his father's footsteps and join the family business someday. Though that wouldn't be totally out of the ordinary as far as other Deadliest Catch cast members are concerned.

Either way, Captain Rick takes great pride in his work both on and off the show. And, chances are, fans will grow to love him as much as they're already impressed by the Aleutian Lady.

Watch Deadliest Catch on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on Discovery.

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