Helicopter rescue! On the May 3 episode of Deadliest Catch, Capt. Rip Carlton (above) and his crab-fishing crew on the Patricia Lee race into an Arctic storm to rendezvous with a U.S. Coast Guard chopper.
The heart-pounding mission: Get help for injured deckhand Francis Katongan, who may have a fractured pelvis and internal bleeding after being crushed by a 700-lb. crab pot knocked loose by a rogue wave.
“Francis was in a lot of pain. His right hip had taken a big hit,” says Carlton, who’d called for a whirlybird one other time in his career—but in calm water.
Now, the weather was so bad, “I didn’t think they’d attempt the evac. The wind was howling, the seas were huge and confused. I was having a hard time just holding the boat on the course they asked for.
“I knew it was serious for the crew in the helicopter when the pilot told me how many people he had on board in case they went in the water!” Carlton continues. “I guarantee that you will hold your breath when you watch. No special effects needed.” And rest assured, Katongan has recovered and is back on the boat.
Deadliest Catch, Tuesday, 8/7c, Discovery