Everyone who knows their way when it comes to the never-ending trend of reality TV series knows about “Deadliest Catch”. The show which premiered in 2005 is an undeniable fan-favorite for many reasons, which include showing a rarely-seen perspective into the Bering Sea fishing industry, on top of giving its audiences a fair share of drama and entertaining footage of the high seas.
Even though audiences have already chosen their favorite cast members, that might be changing soon as many new faces are seen in the recently-premiered 19th season of “Deadliest Catch”. One of those newest additions is Jack Bunnell, a young but well-experienced Captain who has some cards up his sleeve to catch the audience’s attention, and also have a successful season on board the fishing vessel Barbara J.
So who is Jack Bunnell, and what happened to him in the 19th season? Has he been in “Deadliest Catch” before? Stay here to know it all!
What Happened To Jack Bunnell?
No accident of serious consequence has happened to Jack Bunnell during the 19th season of “Deadliest Catch”, but the same can’t be said about the drama he has been involved in, in front of the show’s cameras.
Long before debuting as the Barbara J’s skipper in the 19th season, Jack Bunnell was a deckhand of the Saga, captained by Jake Anderson. It was during this time that Jack had some issues with Anderson, to the point that the Captain fired him from the boat for not following orders.
Though that argument took place during the 15th season, the relationship between both men hasn’t become any better over time. Now with Jack’s comeback to the show as a Captain of the Barbara J, alongside Steve ‘Harley’ Davidson in the 19th season, Anderson still doesn’t have Jack in any high regard and expressed his displeasure for the new Captain through the boat’s radio.
However, himself listened to the negative things he had to say about him, and bad-mouthed Jake in response. The on-radio exchange was tense, to say the least, but it’s unclear if it led to any face-to-face confrontation. Nevertheless, one thing for sure is that both Captains are giving audiences the drama they want to see, and hear!
🦀 The F/V Barbara J’s 2018 King Crab season treated them good! 🦀 Riley showing us what a nice King Crab looks like 🦀…
Posted by Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers on Friday, January 18, 2019
Did Jack Have An Accident?
Back when Jack Bunnell was a deckhand on the Saga, he was involved in a couple of not-so-safe incidents which could easily have resulted in tragedy.
As Jack told Seattle Times in early 2022, some safety measures were slightly overlooked in the Saga while filming the show. On one occasion, he affirms that Captain Jake Anderson once demanded that the crew set the crabbing pots in a dangerous position facing the wind and becoming exposed to the waves, all for giving the show better footage. On another occasion, Jack was injured when a pot fell and hit his leg. The latter was part of an episode aired during the 15th season, but it’s unclear if any security measures had been loosened at the time.
Later on, Jack became a crew member of a vessel named Pinnacle, which isn’t part of “Deadliest Catch”, and found himself increasingly more comfortable there, as he said in the same interview: ‘(the show) was a lot of fun; I’m not going to lie. But, for me, it wasn’t a lot of money, and the Pinnacle is a way better boat’. It’s unclear what led Jack to leave the Pinnacle, but these days he seems to be doing well on board the Barbara J.
What Happened To The Southern Wind?
Now that Jack Bunnell is Co-Captaining the Barbara J alongside Steve ‘Harley’ Davidson in the 19th season, many loyal fans of “Deadliest Catch” have been wondering what happened to the Southern Wind, which was Davidson’s former boat.
— 👩🏼💻Allison Curry 🔜#ISTELive👩🏼💻 (@AllisonETEC) July 14, 2020
Unfortunately, it’s unclear what happened to the Southern Wind, as the boat has been absent from “Deadliest Catch” since season 18th. While ship tracking websites locate it in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, it’s unclear what activities the boat has been used for in these past couple of years, bringing up the possibility that some repair works have been done to it, to explain its absence from the show.
Though it was seemingly believed that the Southern Wind was owned by Captain Davidson, the company Trident Seafoods lists it as part of its crab fishing fleet. Also on that list were Barbara J and Billikin, the latter which was captained by Davidson during the 18th season of “Deadliest Catch”. This means that despite not captaining the Southern Wind anymore, Davidson is still actively working for Trident Seafoods.
Who Else Is New In The Show?
Besides Jack Bunnell, some other new faces have been added to “Deadliest Catch” in the 19th season.
Linda Greenlaw is taking the Co-Captain seat of the Summer Bay, alongside Bill Wichrowski. Besides her decades-long experience in the sword-fishing industry as the Captain and owner of the Mattie Belle on the East Coast, Linda is also a best-selling author, and some of her maritime adventures have been featured in books and films such as “The Perfect Storm.”.
Another new addition to the Summer Bay is Jacob Hutchins, a deckhand whose dream is to build a career in the fishing industry and become a Captain. Hutchins is also the first Black-American cast member in “Deadliest Catch” history.
On board the Saga, another Co-Captain is Sophia ‘Bob’ Nielsen, who is on her way to making a name in the industry, while also honoring the legacy of her late parents. Her family owns a ship called Destiny, and have been in the industry for at least three generations.
Last but not least, the debuting Aleutian Lady Captain Rick Shelford has the experience necessary to make his stay in the show memorable. That is if he gets to meet eye-to-eye with his fellow skipper Sean Dwyer, who has been a regular in the show for some time now.
The future of “Deadliest Catch”
Even though it’s a great sight to see so many new faces in the “Deadliest Catch” 19th season, the truth is that this isn’t the only notable event happening in the show right now.
As the show pointed out in the season’s premiere, the ships face more than just the normal number of challenges, as the sudden rise of illegal fishing on the Bering Sea. There’s also rising concern about the decreasing stock of king and snow crabs, which resulted in the cancellation of the fishing season in 2022. As reported by National Fisherman, this is the first time that a season was canceled since 1994, turning on the alarms about the possible environmental implications of the low king crab population.
Given how illegal fishery might indiscriminately affect protected species on the sea, both of these problems are of high interest for “Deadliest Catch”s crews during the 19th season.
So will the captains and their crews be able to fight off these challenges? Of course that’s yet to be seen, however, between new cast members such as Jack Bunnell and all the action waiting for the crews on the high seas, there’s no doubt that the 19th season of “Deadliest Catch” will as usual be filled with lots of exciting happenings.