By Mandi Bierly
Updated May 14, 2012 at 05:00 PM EDT

Last week on Discovery’s Deadliest Catch, viewers met Chris Scambler, a young dad who took a job on the Wizard to provide for his family despite the fact that he’d never seen the ocean before, let alone the Bering Sea in a storm. Halfway through his first shift, he told Capt. Keith Colburn that he was “terrified” and the job wasn’t for him. Colburn, having seen countless exhausted greenhorns come into his wheelhouse and threaten to quit, asked Chris if that’s the example he wanted to set for his daughters. Chris, to his credit, went back on deck. But in the next two weeks, we’ll see the dramatic turn his story takes. In Tuesday’s episode, he goes into convulsions, which the crew assumes is from severe dehydration. “They have a lot of footage of what happened, if they play it exactly the way it occurred, you’ll see, it’s like one second the deck is working fine — everyone is movin’ and grovin’ and doin’ what they’re doin’ — and the next second, I see Chris and my deck boss Soper waving at me in the window, and I could just tell something was wrong,” Colburn tells EW. “I said, ‘Bring him in the gear room,’ which is about a 50-foot walk from the deck into the house of the Wizard. I ran down to the gear room, and by the time I got there, he was already on his back, going into convulsions. It happened that quickly.” Watch exclusive clips below.

It’s when Capt. Keith realized Scambler was seeing double that he made the decision to call the Coast Guard for a medevac, which we’ll see in the May 22 episode. “I made the call almost instantaneously that it was beyond my control. I’ve had guys get hurt — head injuries, leg injuries, you name it, I’ve seen it. But never have I seen somebody go that far south that quickly,” Colburn says. “Whenever you make that call to the Coast Guard, and I’ve only made it a couple of times running a boat for almost 20 years now, you make sure that you know what you’re talking about. You don’t want to be the boy who cried wolf. You don’t want to exaggerate the facts, you don’t want to underscore the facts. You want to be very concise in what you tell them, because every scrap of information that you give them is going to a flight surgeon or a medical professional, and they’re trying to diagnosis the problem from 300, or 500, or 600 miles away based on the information you’re giving them. Regardless of how cool, calm, and collected everybody remained during the course of that, in the back of your head, there’s no question that you’re saying, ‘Oh s—, we’ve got a serious problem here. You’re not gonna say that on the radio, you’re certainly never gonna say that out loud to the crew, because as the captain, you’ve got to remain calm because you’re that pillar of strength for everybody and especially for the guy that has the medical emergency. If you start getting chaotic and loud and nervous, it’s only going to upset your patient even more and in effect, make things worse.”

Read more:

Deadliest Catch

  • TV Show
  • 15
  • Discovery Channel