Hawaii hosts famous fishing captains

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Where better to recover after wresting fish from the harrowing waters of Alaska than Hawaii? Fishing boat captains from the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch seem to agree. They are on Oahu this week filming for the show that follows each season, After the Catch.

The opening features the stunning beauty of Koko Crater and focuses on the four captains arriving at The Shack in Hawaii Kai by boat (of course) where they are greeted with hula, lei and the music of Makana. At the helm of the boat is Hawaii local Dr. Robert Yonover, who has his own unique connection to the ocean. Yonover says his boat was selected, in part, because it has a “convertible” top that can be removed, making it possible for the four captains to be seen from the helicopter filming overhead. It’s also important that the person at the helm make it a smooth arrival. Yonover was recommended to the show producers for his expertise in boat-handling. Even so, he took the producer out for a test run where they discussed the approach and the best time of day for lighting. “It was important to quickly move the boat with the helicopter directly behind us. We couldn’t look back because that would ruin the shot,” says Yonover. “It was a little disconcerting to hear the big helicopter approach from behind and know if they made a mistake, we would be dead.” Both the helicopter and boat performed perfectly on several “takes.”

Yonover said the captains were great to work with, classic, gruff Alaska guys but very down to earth. “We connected since I’m a fisherman, too.” Yonover is more than a fisherman and skilled skipper. He’s an inventor of many marine products, including inflatable surf and paddle boards produced locally by C4 Waterman. That company recommended Yonover to show producers. Another invention is the RescueStreamer – a long orange plastic streamer with air-filled straws that can be deployed if you find yourself in the water by accident. It is much easier for rescuers to see a bright orange tail than a small head bobbing up and down in the water. The RescueStreamer has been approved by all branches of the US military and is included in Navy submarines. One of the Deadliest Catch captains, Sig Hansen, is interested in putting the rescue streamers on his fishing boat survival suits.

Anything that improves the chances of survival seems wise, as nearly every season of the Deadliest Catch results in dangerous rescues from the freezing waters. The ups and downs of the past season are now a memory, related from the safety of sunny Hawaii for After the Catch cameras. Previous post-season locations have been Seattle, Gloucester, Massachusettes, San Diego and New Orleans. “The captains loved being here in Hawaii,” Yonover says. Who wouldn’t?


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