Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch, now in its 15th season, is a documentary series that reveals the mortal perils and intense discomfort that fishing crews face on the Bering Sea to catch Alaska's precious and delicious king crabs.
And fans of the show will remember that this season premiered with a touching tribute to the Mary B II and the three fishermen who lost their lives while crabbing on the commercial boat in January.
So, what exactly happened on the Mary B II? Was the boat ever on Deadliest Catch?
Because Mary B II was also a crabbing boat, much like the ones featured on Deadliest Catch, many thought that our dear Discovery cast might have been in peril when the boat capsized, on January 8. However, a representative for Discovery released a statement to clear fans of any doubt.
"The captain and crew of the Mary B II were never featured on Deadliest Catch: Dungeon Cove. Initial reports stated the vessel (captain and crew) were featured on Discovery's Deadliest Catch: Dungeon Cove, but this is not correct," the statement read.
Per the Coast Guard, crews had to battle 12 to 14-foot seas. "Air Facility Newport and Station Yaquina Bay boat crews responding to 3 fishermen in the water after commercial fishing vessel Mary B II capsizes while crossing Yaquina Bay Bar," a report read.
Petty Officer Levi Reed with the Coast Guard said they did everything they could. "Unfortunately, it was just a tragic outcome and our hearts and thoughts are with the family and friends of the crew," he told CBS affiliate KPIC-TV.
The Coast Guard is holding an investigational public hearing in May.
Next month, from May 13 to May 17, a hearing is scheduled to convene at the Newport City Hall in order to "consider evidence related to the Mary B II marine casualty investigation." Per the Coast Guard, the hearing "will focus on the capsizing of the commercial fishing vessel Mary B II, which led to the deaths of three fishermen at the entrance of Yaquina Bay in Newport, Oregon."
The public is invited to attend this hearing or stream it online each day from 8 a.m. onward, here. While we doubt there was any foul play, it will be interesting to learn how massive accidents like this can be avoided in the future.
Fans and the captain of Deadliest Catch react to the devastating news.
Although the Mary B II never appeared on the hit Discovery Channel series, the devastating accident did claim the lives of three fishermen aboard the boat: James Lacey, 48, Stephen Biernacki, 50, and Joshua Porter, 50.
Captain Keith Colburn, 56, who features prominently on Deadliest Catch took to Twitter just after the capsizing to share his grief. "My sincerest condolences go out to the family and friends of the Mary B II," he wrote. Others took the opportunity to add their condolences, and raise awareness about the dangers of crabbing.
"Really hate to hear that," wrote one Deadliest Catch fan. "I'm always on pins and needles watching your show but I pray for your safety during winter months when you are not on because I know y'all are out working. You have fans that truly care and worry for the safety of the crews on the Bering Sea."
Another tried to brighten the mood by adding, "Though no words will ease the grief of the family and friends of the lost sailors, I would like to encourage everyone to go out this weekend and buy some Dungeoness crab, have a nice meal and a few drinks in memory of these sailors."
What a nice sentiment. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the Mary B II.
New episodes of Deadliest Catch air Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Discovery Channel.
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