The 2009 King crab season begins with tensions at an all time high. One deckhand threatens to quit, while another sets his pre-mature sights on the wheelhouse. When the captains gather for their annual meeting, a line is crossed.
It's week two of King season and a storm looms as the fleet hauls their first crab. One greenhorn cramps up after just a few pots, while two junior deckhands are tested on unfamiliar boats. But it's the veteran deckhands that try the Skippers patience.
It's the third week of hunting King crab and Captain Phil's and Captain Sig's experiment in trading junior deckhands comes to a close. The young crew members are tested by big waves and cruel pranks until the end.
Captain Sig and Captain Phil liaison to reclaim their junior deckhands from each other with a dangerous high seas transfer. But when the young crew members submerge themselves in the bitter, treacherous tides - the plan quickly spins out of control.
A monster storm stands between the Time Bandit and their final offload. While on the Northwestern, a maniacal skipper heads into Arctic seas to hunt down the planet's most elusive crab, the Blue King Crab.
A white knuckle, boat-crippling passage stands between the Time Bandit and their final offload. A maniacal skipper continues to risk mutiny in the far northern reaches of the Bering Sea. Meanwhile, Captain Phil has to deal with an major engineering glitch that threatens Cornelia Marie's entire King crab catch.
While the Cornelia Marie spends precious time undergoing repairs after a collision with a reef, the other boats head out to the Opilio crab grounds. When massive ice storms cover their already top-heavy boats with ice, the captains are forced to dump icy pots far from their honey holes - or capsize.
The pot stacks keep turning into frozen mountains and days of ice bashing has the entire fleet fighting to stay in action. On the Northwestern, the exhausted crew struggles to keep up with Captain Sig's maniacal pace. The other boats face their own challenges from chronic pain to shell-shocked greenhorns.
Terrible ice conditions continue to wreak havoc in the fleet, often forcing the boats into extreme situations. Capt. Phil takes the Cornelia Marie into the Bering Sea's most challenging fishing grounds and a sudden ice storm sends the Time Bandit into crisis mode.
The Coast Guard helicopter continues an attempted a rescue in dangerous seas. The deck of the Time Bandit becomes a deadly gauntlet of heavy, falling ice chunks while on the Cornelia Marie, the skipper's son reveals a dark secret.
Capt. Johnathan leaves the Time Bandit for warmer waters, but a phone call home brings heartache to Jake Anderson as he learns disturbing details about his father's disappearance. After the the Cornelia Marie pulls into port for an off-load, a skipper pays a tragic price for his hard living ways.
A critically ill Phil Harris is flown to a hospital in Anchorage. Jake Harris accompanies his father, but Josh decides he must stay with the boat knowing that this will make it difficult to rush to his Dad's bedside. Meanwhile, a dark cloud descends over the Time Bandit as Andy's choice of a new relief skipper sets off a storm of jealousy.
As the fleet struggles through their mid-season grinds, Captains turn on deckhands and deckhands turn on each other. On land, Skipper Phil battles for his life while his sons tear each other apart.
The Time Bandit deck descends into a chaotic power struggle On the Northwestern, Edgar takes a drastic step to be rid of his deck drudgery. Meanwhile, Mother Nature unleashes an epic storm while Phil Harris fights a battle for his life.
Captain Phil Harris loses his battle for life while the boats - unaware of the news - battle the biggest storm of the season. Eventually, eldest son Josh breaks the news to the fleet and reactions are intense and unforgettable.
Captain Phil Harris Remembered
Tension runs high on the Northwestern, as Edgar Hansen is fed up with the 22 year marathon of pain, confronts his older brother Sig. Josh Harris returns to the Cornelia Marie and the Opilio Season ends with a harrowing mayday.