'Deadliest Catch' crewmember falls ill and rescued

AP News
Posted: Nov 08, 2011 6:58 PM
'Deadliest Catch' crewmember falls ill and rescued

Rescuers flew a member of the cable TV series "Deadliest Catch" fishing crew to a remote clinic in Alaska after he collapsed and showed signs of shock and dehydration on board a fishing vessel in the Bering Sea, the Coast Guard said Tuesday.

The agency didn't identify the 28-year-old man but said he's a crewmember of the 150-foot Wizard, part of the hit Discovery Channel reality series that depicts the crab fishing industry in the dangerous waters off Alaska.

Discovery didn't immediately provide information and emails seeking details that were sent through the website of the Seattle-based Wizard were not immediately answered.

A Coast Guard helicopter crew flew the man Monday afternoon to a clinic in the Alaska Peninsula community of Cold Bay, 60 miles to the south. He was then flown to an Anchorage hospital.

Waves were only about 3-feet high when he fell ill. The National Weather Service said it occurred before the arrival of a huge storm brewing in the Bering Sea.

Wendy Whitney, a nurse practitioner at the Cold Bay clinic, said privacy laws prevented her from identifying the crewmember. But she said the man was conscious at the clinic, adding that his condition wasn't seasickness and needed further evaluation.

The man was flown Monday night to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage and was stabilized with intravenous fluids. He appeared be feeling better before he departed on the medical flight to the medical center, Whitney said.

The illness comes less than nine months after a crew member of another "Deadliest Catch" fishing vessel was found dead in an Alaska motel room. Justin Tennison, who worked on the Time Bandit, was found dead in Homer in February amid beer, hard liquor and a small amount of marijuana in a room where police believe a party had taken place the night before.

Last year, Capt. Phil Harris of the "Deadliest Catch" fishing vessel Cornelia Marie died following a massive stroke at age 53.