It was the third season of “Deadliest Catch” when viewers witnessed a situation that had all the markings of a tragedy. A production crew was embedded on the Time Bandit — a boat that would go on to be featured in over a dozen seasons of the show — when the ship’s captain, Johnathan Hillstrand, watched a deckhand from a nearby boat get swallowed up by the waves. The deckhand was trying to secure crab pots on the vessel in 30-foot waves — an extremely dangerous practice, especially during rough seas.
Hillstrand and his crew kept a close eye on the deckhand as he was straddling the rail of the nearby vessel while chaining the pots to the boat. That’s when disaster struck. As the ship rolled back and forth through the massive waves, the deckhand was practically submerged in the waters that crested over the side of the vessel. After the boat moved heavily to the port side and a giant wave enveloped the vessel’s deck, Hillstrand noticed the deckhand had disappeared.
Immediately, he sounded the alarm and announced to his crew, “Man overboard, man overboard,” and began preparations to rescue the lost deckhand. After the alarm was raised, Hillstrand turned his vessel to intercept the deckhand who had gone overboard because it can only take a few minutes in the water before hypothermia sets in.