'Deadliest Catch': Summer Bay Deckhand's Devastating Injury Forces Risky Move

A major injury on the Summer Bay almost put an end to Deadliest Catch Captain Wild Bill Wichrowski's season if not for the nerve of Cornelia Marie Captain Casey McManus.

In Tuesday's all-new episode of the Discovery docuseries, Wild Bill's crew was already celebrating being able to head home with just 55 pots left to pull when deckhand Landon Cheney felt something pop in his leg while crawling inside to set the pot.

"It feels like my knee is exploding right now!" he told deck boss Nick McGlashan, who helped him into the galley to assess the situation.

"I went into the pot and something shifted or popped," Cheney said through gritted teeth, breaking down in tears as he cried, "I'm sorry guys."

Comforted by his Captain and crew, it was still clear that the Summer Bay was in big trouble, with the finish coming to an abrupt stop.

It's this desperation that prompted Wild Bill to call out to Cornelia Marie Captains McManus and Josh Harris, asking if they would have an additional crew member with enough gall to make their way from ship to ship in their survival suit. It's a move the veteran captain explained was done a lot when they were "younger and dumber" out on the Bering Sea, but rarely anymore.

McManus, surprisingly enough, was happy to oblige, dressing up in nothing but his survival suit and inflatable bladder as he was lowered into the freezing sea to float his way from the Cornelia Marie over to the Summer Bay.

With no safety lines tethering him to either boat, a powerful current and 12-foot waves breaking all around him, it's a risky move, but one that pays off for the Summer Bay when they bring aboard their temporary new crew member.

Seeing Captain Bill react with such a calm and measured response may have shocked some Deadliest Catch fans, but the reality personality told PopCulture ahead of the season that it's all part of his personal journey.

"I'm getting a little softer and milder," he said at the time. "I'm becoming more spiritual and turning the other cheek a little bit more."

"It's in my best interest to do the most for these guys that I can," Wild Bill added. "If you have a crew of five and you lose one, you lost 20 percent of your crew, so we can't really run these guys into the ground and
make them want to quit and go home."


Deadliest Catch airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Discovery.

Photo credit: Discovery