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Safety first for the camera crew, too

In addition to his crew of seven, Colburn is responsible for the safety of the two cameramen aboard Wizard.

The cameramen are trained as crewmembers and are only allowed in certain areas of the vessel when the weather turns foul.

Colburn (center) takes crew safety very seriously, running his men through drills and requiring PFDs at all times on deck.

“If it’s calm, they can roam around the boat pretty freely,” says Colburn. “They’re required to wear a PFD like the rest of my crew. There are times when they’re only allowed to work in a safe area, which is under a sheltered deck. I can’t afford in my business to be shuttling guys back and forth to town because they’re all busted up because they just took big green water over the rail.”

Colburn has complete control of the cameramen, but he is powerless when it comes to what footage airs on “Deadliest Catch.” “I have no input into how the show is made,” he says. “I have no editing control. I am not involved in the filming. They just come on the boat with a lot of cameras and film what we do.”

After three seasons, Colburn says he hardly notices the cameramen and certainly doesn’t allow the filming to impact his actions. “I could care less,” he says. “If they want to make me look like a jerk, so be it. They probably have the footage to make me look like a jerk — that’s fine, provided they don’t make me look like I’m some kind of a lunatic or not safety conscious.”

See related article:

- "Deadliest" skipper is on a safety mission

This article originally appeared in the January 2010 issue.