The fleet of crab-fishing boats that captivated nearly three million viewers each week on Discovery Channel's Emmy-nominated series Deadliest Catch returns on Tuesday, April 3, at 9 PM (ET/PT) for a third season of life-or-death adventures on the high seas. Viewers once again voyage to the Bering Sea and follow the brave captains and crews of eight crab-fishing vessels as they struggle against treacherous weather conditions doing one of the deadliest -- and most lucrative -- jobs in the world.
Filming of the new season of Deadliest Catch -- Discovery Channel's highest-rated series of 2006 -- is currently under way. With red king crab season completed, captains and crews are on the Bering Sea tempting fate in the hunt for opilio crab. Fishermen are enduring subzero arctic weather, 60- mph winds and turbulent seas with waves the size of four-story buildings -- all on three to four hours of sleep each night. To add to the weather nightmare, a thousand gallons of water crashes on the deck every 30 seconds, freezing as it hits the boat. To prevent the boat from becoming too top-heavy and capsizing at sea, deckhands are continuously forced to stop fishing and spend hours clearing the ice with sledgehammers.
In conditions like this, it's not uncommon for deckhands to experience stage one hypothermia, whose symptoms include shivering, poor coordination, slurred speech and poor judgement -- all factors that contribute to the danger associated with crab fishing on the Bering Sea.
This season, viewers will get a more in-depth look at the men who put their lives on the line in search of modern-day buried treasure -- Alaskan crab.
Returning to Deadliest Catch this year are the men of the Northwestern, led by Captain Sig Hansen; Captain Phil Harris and his crew of the Cornelia Marie, including sons Jake and greenhorn Josh; Captain Johnathan Hillstrand (king crab season) and Captain Andy Hillstrand (opilio crab season) of the Time Bandit; and greenhorn Captain Blake Painter (king crab season) of the Maverick and his new hand-picked crew, along with Rick Quashnick (opilio crab season) with his wife Donna.
New to Deadliest Catch this season are the men of the Wizard, led by Captain Keith Colburn; Captain Greg Moncrief of the Farwest Leader, who is joined on board by his wife Ragnhild; Captain Allen Oakley of the Early Dawn and his crew, including greenhorn Bryan Mezich; and the crew of the Aleutian Ballad, with Captain Corky Tilley at the helm and son Matthew and daughter Nicole on deck.
In addition to exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and online chats, this year's Deadliest Catch fansite offers viewers a chance to put their own crab- fishing skills to the test -- in the comfort of their own homes. To coincide with the season premiere on April 3, Discovery Channel will launch an online game at discovery.com/DeadliestCatch where people can compete with other virtual skippers to find out who has what it takes to bring their crews home safely and with money in their pockets. Players select their boat and crew and navigate to fishing spots in hopes of pulling in a big haul and an even bigger payday. Prizes will be awarded to the top skippers.
Dont't forget to also check out: Deadliest Catch: Crab Fishing in Alaska