‘Deadliest Catch’ Captain Keith Medical Scare: What Happened?

Deadliest Catch Season 15 cast

Getty Jake Anderson, Josh Harris, Keith Colburn, Wild Bill, and Sig Hansen of "Deadliest Catch'.

On the August 18 episode of Deadliest Catch, the Wizard crew races to get Keith to a doctor, but unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Keith has had a medical emergency out at sea.


Deadliest Catch: Keith's health bombshellCaptain Keith Colburn breaks bad news about his health on Deadliest Catch. Deadliest Catch airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Discovery.2018-06-05T18:10:47Z

In 2018, Keith suffered from a “bacterial infection that attacked his spine”, in the words of TV Shows Ace.

Read on for an update on Keith’s health.


Keith’s Most Recent Medical Scare

On last month’s episode of Deadliest Catch, Keith was suffering from a new lump in his stomach. According to TV Shows Ace, he attempted to lie on the floor to find a more comfortable position but was unable to. And, at the time, the crew was still miles away from Russia.

It’s unclear if the experience was as painful as his osteomyelitis, which affected Keith during Season 14 of the show.

In June 2018, Yahoo reported that the fan-favorite fisherman would not be hunting crab during the upcoming season as a result of the bacterial infection.

When Keith was asked to describe the experience, he got straight to the point: “My back is all f**** up.” According to Yahoo, he added that the vertebrae looked like “someone poured battery acid on them.”


Keith’s Health Today


Captain Keith Colburn Dives Into The 16th Season Of Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch"For the first time ever on "Deadliest Catch," the Alaskan crab fleet faces off against their biggest rival – the Russians. A competition so fierce, the captains must push into uncharted territory, including one veteran actually going to Russia. The 16th season brings new fishing alliances, former Catch captains returning to the fleet and a…2020-04-10T00:21:11Z

In an April interview with the Build series, Keith was asked how he and his family are faring during the pandemic.

Speaking on video chat from Idaho, he said that his family was a bit “disjointed’, as they were all in different locations across the country.

He added that he was staying safe by wearing masks and gloves and social distancing. In general, Keith’s interview proved he is happy and healthy today.

In a separate interview with Boating Magazine, Keith opened up about his experience on Deadliest Catch. Asked what the biggest mistake that captains make when crab fishing is, he said, “There are so many mistakes, but the worst is not preparing for a worst-case scenario, be it anything from bad fishing to mechanical failures. If you don’t have contingency plans, things can get tragic. Boaters can apply this by having a float plan so someone knows where you are. Also, make sure you have a safety talk before you depart to point out safety gear, fire extinguishers, operating basics, and how to use the electronics. What happens if the captain hits his head? The crew can’t respond if they don’t where the safety gear is located. I am also a huge advocate for wearing life jackets. Ask if everyone knows how to swim. If not, make sure they wear a life jacket. ‘Safety First’ is not just a billboard. It’s a way of life, and it inspires confidence in the skipper.”

Asked how many more seasons he plans on doing, Keith said, “I don’t plan on retiring. Many boat owners eventually hire another captain to fish the boat, and they stay ashore to manage the operation. And believe me, there’s a lot to manage. I don’t foresee myself not fishing, but I might fish less and let my brother take the helm more. My most peaceful moments are when I am at the wheel, cruising back up on the gear at night. I really love what I do. The TV show will go forever, otherwise no one will know what to do on Tuesday nights.”

Keith, a 14-year-veteran of Deadliest Catch, has been fishing for over 35 years. The first-generation fisherman started at age 22 in 1985, and seven years later, he became the captain of the Wizard.

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