The 2009 King crab season begins with tensions at an all time high. One deckhand threatens to quit, while another sets his pre-mature sights on the wheelhouse. When the captains gather for their annual meeting, a line is crossed.
It's week two of King Crab season and a storm looms as the fleet hauls their first crab. One greenhorn cramps up after just a few pots, while two junior deckhands are tested on unfamiliar boats. But it's the veteran deckhands that really try the skippers' patience.
It's the third week of hunting King crab and Captain Phil and Captain Sig's experiment in trading junior deckhands comes to a close. The young crew members are tested by big waves and cruel pranks until the end. Meanwhile, conflict between skippers and deckhands continues to rage unchecked.
Captain Sig and Captain Phil liaison to reclaim their junior deckhands with a high seas transfer. But when the young crew members submerge themselves in the bitter, treacherous tides - the plan quickly spins out of control.
The boats unload and head back out to top off their quotas but the fishing is poor. Captain Sig takes the Northwestern on a risky excursion to the northwest for blue king crab. The high seas are fighting everyone.
A white knuckle, boat-crippling passage stands between the Time Bandit and their final offload. A maniacal skipper continues to risk mutiny in the far northern reaches of the Bering Sea. Meanwhile, Captain Phil has to deal with an major engineering glitch that threatens Cornelia Marie's entire King ...
An ice storm arrives on the winter crab grounds; skipper Phil Harris faces hefty repairs and untimely delays when the Cornelia Marie runs aground.
Ice bashing takes its toll on the fleet; an exhausted crew tries to keep up with the skipper's maniacal pace on the Northwestern.
The Coast Guard is summoned regarding a heart attack; the Time Bandit faces an emergency; the Cornelia Marie tries out difficult fishing grounds in the Bering Sea.
The Coast Guard helicopter continues an attempted a rescue in dangerous seas. The deck of the Time Bandit becomes a deadly gauntlet of heavy, falling ice chunks while on the Cornelia Marie, the skipper's son reveals a dark secret.
On the Cornelia Marie Captain Phil comes to grip with his son Jakes's drug addiction. Phil and a couple other skippers contemplate retirement and who can take charge of their legacy. Captain Sig has to deliver some hard news to a deck hand. The fleet returns to unload and is reminded that bad ...
Josh remains behind to handle affairs on the Cornelia Marie as Captain Phil is medevaced to Anchorage. Captain Andy starts training Mike as relief captain, to the jealousy of the other deckhands. Word of Phil's stroke begins to reach the other captains, sending shockwaves through the fleet.
Drama dominates the crews of the fleet during the mid-season grind. Jake and Josh Harris suffer a new falling-out with their father's life hanging in the balance.
A power struggle for the captain's chair erupts between Mike and Scott on the Time Bandit; Edgar Hansen schools his greenest deckhand; ominous weather awaits the fleet while Phil Harris fights for his life.
Captain Phil Harris loses his battle for life while the boats - unaware of the news - battle the biggest storm of the season. Eventually, eldest son Josh breaks the news to the fleet and reactions are intense and unforgettable.