Alaska Fishing Boats Clash With Russian Vessels

Earlier this year we featured Discovery Channel’s latest installment of its hit series Deadliest Catch, emphasizing the crab boats’ competition with Russian fishing vessels. But at no point is it suggested anything more than business rivalries.

But the U.S. and Russia got a little too close on the high seas recently. Here’s more from the New York Times:

The crew of the Bristol Leader was laying out its long cod-catching line well within U.S. fishing territory in the Bering Sea when a voice crackled over the VHF radio and began issuing commands: The ship was in danger, it said, and needed to move.

The warnings, coming in a mixture of Russian and accented English from a plane buzzing overhead, grew more specific and more urgent. There was a submarine nearby, the voice said. Missiles were being fired. Leave the area.

Other U.S. fishing vessels that were scattered over 100 miles of open sea were getting similar messages. Capt. Steve Elliott stood dumbfounded on the trawler Vesteraalen as three Russian warships came barreling through, barking orders of their own. On the ship Blue North, commands from a Russian plane led Capt. David Anderson to contact the U.S. Coast Guard, wondering how to protect his crew of 27.

The vessel’s captain went onto call the incident, “terrifying.”