'Deadliest Catch' Captains Discuss Worst At-Sea Injuries [Video]
Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch" Season 9 is finally underway, and Captain Johnathan Hillstrand of the Time Bandit and Captain Scott Campbell Jr. of the Seabrooke made it onto dry land to chat with Michael Yo about what fans can expect as the crews navigate the violent Bering Sea once again in hopes of bringing home the biggest catch -- and just a warning, there will be injuries.
In fact, every boat has an injury, a breakdown, and fighting crew members this season, according to the captains. It is the world's most dangerous profession, after all. This week's episode, "Dagger in the Back," is no exception to the hazards: Johnathan's brother and co-captain, Andy Hillstrand, smashes his finger onboard and requires impromptu surgery at sea. "There are all kinds of ways to get hurt on a crab boat," Johnathan says. "Can't even put them on a piece of paper."
The worst injury Campbell has ever seen: a guy with a crushed rib cage. As for Hillstrand, the worst was a severed leg -- but that's nothing compared to what else he's seen and done. "I've pulled ... four dead guys out of the water, and I've saved five," Hillstrand tells Yo. Campbell is even missing a portion of one of his fingers: "I was able to save my hand, and the rest was history."
How do the Discovery Channel camera operators deal with the danger? Yo asks. "They send two, 'cause usually one doesn't make it," says Hillstrand -- as in once they make it back to shore, the spooked camera guy says, "This isn't for me."
[Related: 'Deadliest Catch': The Top Five Close Calls]
Aside from the injuries, the fights that occur between a ship's crew members add an additional element of stress. Hillstrand tells Yo about his biggest fight with brother Andy, which actually happened on land as kids: "He punched me. My mom grabbed me, and he ran. And I grabbed this rock ... and the wind was blowing about 20, and I threw it at about a 45-degree angle. It hit him right on top of the head. KO, 14 stitches. Never punched me again. That was the last real fight we've been in."
Whether technically related or not, these crews are like family out at sea, and it's a good thing that blood is thicker than water.
"Deadliest Catch" airs on Tuesdays at 9 PM on the Discovery Channel.