I remember being fired up to watch the 2000 George Clooney-Mark Wahlberg/John C. Reilly etc. fishing flick, The Perfect Storm when it first came out. I figured, “How you could mess up a movie with Clooney barking orders at his minions, Diane Lane fawning over Marky Mark and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio kicking ass while skippering her own boat?” Throw in an underrated who’s who of character actors and it was a can’t miss hit. As it turns out, the movie was good but not great, but between all the spectacular visual effects of a tiny fishing boat being battered by massive waves in the Atlantic, there were moments of brilliance depicting how much tension can go on with a bunch of fishermen stuck together in the middle of the ocean.
So I guess it’s not a surprise that we occasionally experience stories of strife among the crews. Take this report from the Alaska Dispatch News last week:
The skipper of a fishing vessel has been charged with repeatedly assaulting a crew member and threatening to kill him in waters near Kodiak last month.
Kyle Mead, 39, of Anchorage faces five counts of assault, three of them felonies, following an Aug. 26 incident aboard the fishing vessel Miss Destinee. All five counts are considered acts of domestic violence because both Mead and the crew member were living aboard the vessel at the time.
According to an affidavit against Mead, written by Alaska State Trooper Brock Simmons, Mead reported an assault to Kodiak troopers by satellite phone at about 5 p.m. Aug. 26, saying that the crew member had charged Mead, who had “defended himself.” Afterward, Mead said, he told the crew member to remain in his bunk as the Miss Destinee headed for Kodiak.
When troopers spoke with the crew member at Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center, where he was being treated for minor injuries, he said he had been working for Mead since June.
“During his time on board, (Mead) had made several comments to (the victim) placing him in fear of physical injury,” Simmons wrote. “The defendant had told him, ‘We’re under maritime law out here and it would be easy to make you disappear.'”
The report goes onto say the allegations also include alcohol and a handgun, so it’s a rather disturbing chain of events.