Call it the deadliest job fair. If you’ve ever watched king crab-fishing documentary TV series The Deadliest Catch and thought that you could handle the frigid temperatures, round-the-clock work and salty co-workers of life on the Bering Sea, there are two things you should know. 1) You can’t. 2) Now is your chance to apply.
Each season, Discovery Channel follows Alaskan king crab fishing boats as they depart from Dutch Harbor in search of lucrative and often elusive quarry. As we munch away on our couches, the teams aboard the ships fight to stay safe and sane and above all to find their meal ticket: the crab. It all makes for very entertaining television. But a career path? Maybe.
The Cornelia Marie’s captain, 32-year fishing vet Phil Harris, knows a lot about finding the spiders of the sea and plenty about finding the right crew to catch them, too. Harris and his fisherman sons need a full crew to drop pots, count crab and make it back to harbor in one piece, and right now they’re down one grunt. That’s where you come in. Along with Time Bandit Captain Johnathan Hillstrand, the guys are heading to Las Vegas this weekend to meet fans, promote their new coffee line and interview “greenhorn” or rookie applicants willing to take the abuse of a few months at sea for the chance at a sometimes staggering payout.
Don’t have much heavy pot hauling experience on the resume? Not a problem.
“This is not a situation where expertise is key,” assures the Harris’ manager, Russ Herriott. But, he adds, “you gotta have heart.”
And an iron stomach. Ask yourself this question, Herriott suggests: “Can you take a 20-pound block of frozen fish and put it in the grinder and not throw up?” If the answer’s no, it’s dry land for you.
Interested applicants can meet the captain and his sons at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino on August 29, where they’ll be signing autographs, holding question and answer sessions and accepting applications. If you’ve got what it takes, they just might send you a ticket to meet them in Dutch Harbor on October 5th.
There’s just one more stipulation you should be aware of before your maiden voyage. “Skinny runts,” Herriott says, need not apply.