Forty-foot waves, freezing temperatures, swinging 700-pound crab pots, a nearly 100-percent injury rate...but also the chance to earn enough money for a family to live on for a year for just a few days' work. Welcome to one of the world's deadliest jobs: the Alaskan crab fisherman.
Deep in the frigid waters on the Bering Sea lurks the highly lucrative, yet often elusive, king snow crabs. Each year, approximately 250 boats converge on Dutch Harbor, Alaska, awaiting the start of the official harvesting seasons announced by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Crew members regularly pull 20-hour shifts in freezing weather, exposed to the harsh elements on a slick deck, often pitching to and fro. The harried, exhausted men have one purpose; catch as much crab as possible before the authorities announce the end of the season.
Why do these men risk life and limb every season? Money, in the season prior, the king crab harvest alone was worth $65 million at the dock. But the potential to make such good money - fast - brings with it an all-too-often tragic consequence...