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Johnathan Hillstrand’s On-Line Chat Transcript 07 May 1

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Randy: Last week you saved a man's life. Was it the first time you pulled a sailor from the sea?

Johnathan Hillstrand: No, it's like the sixth guy I think I've pulled out of the water. Once I pulled three guys out of the water - had to get in a survival suit and jump in the water, and they were almost dead. It was summer time, so it was a lot warmer. These guys were in 52 degree water. The guy that owned the boat, the guy I saved, got a tattoo of my boat on his arm, Arctic Nomad. The other guy I pulled out, it was too late to save him.

You can see when Josh White comes on my boat his arms and legs work, he's got color, and he's moving around. Once he starts moving, he turns white, he loses control of his limbs, that's hypothermia. He was really close to being in trouble. So, no it was not the first time.

Kazamell: How much money for a full tank of fuel to fill your boat?

Johnathan Hillstrand: It'd be about $50,000. It lasts us about a month.

fire79ct: What is the biggest catch you ever had in a season?

Johnathan Hillstrand: 134,000 pounds of king crab. We had 1.1 million pounds of opilio one season.

Terri: What is the biggest wave you have seen. Do they scare you?

Johnathan Hillstrand: A 100 foot wave, with probably 30 foot of white water on top. It rolled us on our side, it threw a microwave from the galley through the door, square through the door. You know how small you are when you're out there, when you're in 100 foot seas. You don't feel too big out there.

Bil: Who sets the price for the crabs, is it a totally free market or are you at the mercy of the wholesalers?

Johnathan Hillstrand: At the mercy of the wholesalers.

calvab: Hi Johnathan — What do you do with a greenhorn who gets seasick?

Johnathan Hillstrand: That's the worst thing. You have to take them in. They can't drink water, and they get delirious about two days later, then you have to put them on an IV because they're dehydrated. On the third day, you decide to take them into town and it takes us a day and a half to get to town. Usually they need medical attention by the time we get there. The seasickness is one of the worse things in the world. I get seasick.

fisherwoman: Hello, I just wanted to say that I have great respect for the job you do. I just wanted to know what kind of training do the mates have to go through to make it on your boat?

Johnathan Hillstrand: My mates are my brothers so we've been in the fisheries since we were kids. We usually don't take anyone out to sea who's never been out to sea before, usually it's someone who's been doing fisheries before during summertime as kids. They're used to the hours. Somebody who has never been in fishing families are used to eight or nine hours of sleep at night.

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