A Bering Sea captain never wants to see one of his crew members in the frigid waters. However, what if one of the crew members deliberately jumps into the water? This is what Captain Keith Coburn of the Wizard went through when Freddie Maugatai jumped into the frigid icy waters. No, he wasn’t suicidal either.
If you missed this week’s episode of the “Deadliest Catch,” I’m sure you’re wondering why a sensible man like Freddie would do this if the boat wasn’t sinking or if he wasn’t contemplating suicide. It was for what Keith termed “the trophy of the sea.” They found a dead walrus floating in the water. Each walrus tusk is worth around $5,000. The crew worked hard to snag the bloated body of the walrus so they could bring him up to the rails and cut off the tusks. It would be an added bonus to their fishing season.
The crew tried everything they could to lasso the walrus and bring him onboard, but their attempts failed. Captain Keith is ready to move on. He tells the crew that they can’t spend all day trying to get the walrus body that it was time to go.
However, Freddie wasn’t about to leave the walrus behind. He decided to help things along. Without giving a thought to his safety or the possible heart attack to the Captain, he took off his clothes and jumped into the Bering Sea. He had one minute to be in the water before hyperthermia set in.
Captain Keith said “Freddy just disrobed and jumped in the f****** water on me. I don’t know what he’s f****** thinking.” Captain Keith shouts over the loudspeaker for the crew to get a survival suit and get Freddie out of the water immediately.
What kind of consolation would it be to have walrus tusks if they lost a life in retrieving them? Is this another Samoan ritual or is this guy just plain crazy? The crew members do as their captain orders, pulling Freddie back onboard the Wizard. Freddie is furious with the captain as he continues to walk around on deck in just his underwear.
Captain Keith leaves the wheelhouse to go out on the deck. Freddie being Freddie is laughing it off, regretting that he was unable to hook the walrus.
After a few more tries, the crew is able to snag the walrus and Lenny removes the tusks with the saw-alls. He also takes the whiskers to give to his sister who uses them in her artwork.
It is against the law for anyone other than an Alaskan native to retrieve the tusks from a walrus. Lenny Lekanoff was the person on the Wizard who could legally get the tusks.