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Is 'Deadliest Catch' Cursed?

by PopEater Staff, posted Feb 24th 2011 4:30PM
deadliest catch deathThe news of 'Deadliest Catch' star's Justin Tennison's death marked a year of tragedy and hard times for the documentary show's cast.

Since early 2010, the Alaskan king crab fishing series has been plagued by two deaths, individual charges of reckless driving, robbery and drug dealing as well as a lawsuit from Discovery Channel, leading many to wonder if 'Deadliest Catch' is cursed.

Here, we chronicle the cast's hardships and hope for the best in the future.

Late January 2010: Capt. Phil Harris, 53, suffers a stroke aboard the Cornelia Marie.

February 2010: After a near-recovery in the hospital, Harris dies Feb. 9. 'Deadliest Catch' producer Thom Beers tells EW that Capt. Phil asked cameraman to keep rolling while he was on his deathbed in order to get "a great finish" to the show.

March 2010: Then-21-year-old Jake Harris (Capt. Phil's son) charged with reckless driving and operating with a suspended license. The incident in question occurred nine days after Jake's father's death.

Early May 2010: 'Deadliest Catch' production manager Matthew Schneider, 22 at the time, faces felony drug charges after delivering an estimated $300 worth of cocaine to an undercover police officer in March. The AP writes that Schneider reportedly "bragged about his ability to deliver cocaine to the Alaska fishing town of Unalaska."

Deadliest CatchMid-May 2010: Joshua Tell Warner, a then-23-year-old 'Deadliest Catch' fisherman, is sentenced to nine-and-a-half years in prison after three robbery charges. Warner hit a Washington Mutual Bank in Eugene, Ore., in October 2007, immediately before boarding a 'Deadliest Catch' fishing boat. In court, bank tellers recount Warner warning they'd be murdered if they didn't comply with his robbery. Warner's appearance on 'Deadliest Catch' led to his arrest in January -- viewers called police after recognizing Warner on television, identifying him as a suspect in the robberies. Warner was picked up at a traffic stop in Illinois and extradited to his native Oregon for persecution.

July 2010: Toward the end of season six, Capt. Phil's final episode of 'Deadliest Catch' airs. The episode concludes with Harris' son Josh emotionally phoning his brother Jake and breaking the news -- "We lost Dad, dude."

September 2010: Discovery Channel sues 'Deadliest Catch' stars Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand for bailing on a spinoff special titled 'Hillstranded.' The Hollywood Reporter writes that Discovery will seek $3 million in damages after the Hillstrand brothers quit the 'Deadliest Catch' one-time special two weeks into production.

Justin Tennison Deadliest CatchFebruary 2011: Time Bandit fisherman Justin Tennison is found dead in a Homer, Alaska, hotel room. TMZ reports that a search of the hotel room, registered to Tennison, turned up "a small amount of marijuana, as well as several bottles of alcohol in the refrigerator. Cops tell us they believe there had been a party in the room the night before." Lt. Randy Rosencrans tells USA Today that Tennison died of unknown causes and the state medical examiner's office was set to conduct an autopsy.

Time Bandit Capt. Andy Hillstrand wrote on Facebook:
Justin fished commercially for many years, living in Alaska for 28 years. He worked on the Time Bandit, alongside his second cousin, Eddie Uwekoolani, Jr., serving as Engineer during the tendering seasons, and joined the Time Bandit crew as a deckhand fishing the Red King 2010 and Opilio 2011 seasons.

Justin was tough as a bull and was an all-around good hand. The Captains and Crew appreciated his hard work and many contributions this past year. We will miss him terribly and wish his family all the best during this most difficult time.
Despite all the hardship, Discovery confirms to PopEater that 'Deadliest Catch' will return for a seventh season in April 2011.

See 'Deadliest Catch' stars remember Capt. Phil Harris:

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1/2 of those aren't Jinxes.........it's just stupidity........

April 20 2012 at 9:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to shewhale's comment


April 20 2012 at 9:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think it is horrible of the Discovery Channel to sue the Hillstrands.. Is the Discovery THAT BROKE that they have to go after the smaller business? To the Hillstrand brothers. I love watching you guys and will miss you so much. That goes for Sig Hansen too. Sig, you are starting to get that worn out look. Please take care. will miss you alll tooo much

August 05 2011 at 10:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I Hate this new Captain Derrick Ray working on Phils old boat
Is not rational. He is acting like he's on a sinking boat.
But If Any Man or Woman said that my recently Past away Dad was teaching me all
The wrong thing about crabbing. “A disservice" Ray said Calling Josh a Drug addict on Nation TV
The Boys have to be careful Ray is going down and he trying to blame others. This new Capt should ask the boys for some advice. It just shows the Captain Derrick Ray is no Capt. can’t find the crab get his crew motivated and says the most disrespectful words to the Brothers.

May 15 2011 at 1:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There is a difference between being "persecuted" and being "prosecuted".

February 24 2011 at 7:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Cursed is a ridiculous assessment. This is an industry replete with men who have difficulty following societal norms, who are unusually immature, who have backgrounds which include an inordinate percentage of jail sentences, assaults, substance abuse problems, who chain smoke, drink, do drugs, eat greasy fatty food topped off with coffee and red bull; who get paid a boatload of money and are then deposited in some of the most boring territory in the country. Of course they engage in dangerous behaviour, and of course many of them will die. That's not a curse; that's a lifestyle choice.

February 24 2011 at 5:22 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Lisa's comment

Lisa, yours has got to be the stupidest comment i ever read. Where do you get these "facts". Most of these men are out there and in other parts of the country doing these sorts of crabbing and fishing jobs to support their families. And i hardly think they're bored while doing their job on one of these ships and if you'd ever been to Alaska you'd know the state is far from boring. But perhaps you're the average dumbed-down 'lefty' American who can't live without your cell phone and credit cards idiot.

February 24 2011 at 11:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to itr's comment

itr - I spent plenty of years in Alaska and have known and been around these people all my life, including friends and family members. It's no great secret that most of these guys have problems. If you know any yourself, you know that. The boredom comes when they leave the boat with more money than they know what to do with in a place like Homer. I can tell you've never spent any time in Homer because if you have you would not have the stones to try and tell me it's NOT boring. Where there is really nothing to do but party - especially for guys like them who are inclined to that sort of lifestyle to begin with. That you result to attacking me personally based on your misinformed opinion of who you think I am, instead of stating any kind of substance on the actual issue shows me you have no "facts" of your own.

February 25 2011 at 3:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

Look, I don't mean to be crass, but the show isn't cursed, it's the reality of the job. There's a reason that the show is called "The Deadliest Catch." These men know the type of danger they're getting into when they sign up for the job. It's sad, but it's not unexpected, is it?

February 24 2011 at 4:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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