It's a day of paydays and busts for Shipwreck Men on the Discovery Channel tonight.
Last week, Discovery Channel viewers were invited to venture into the cutthroat world of marine salvage when the network’s all-new series Shipwreck Men debuted. Now, fans are looking forward to returning tonight for another peek into the adventures of these modern-day pirates of southern Florida.
As viewers learned last week, marine salvage companies can make big money for their rescues, but where there is big money, there is another cost. The cast of Shipwreck Men scan the waters day and night for vessels in distress, hoping to be the first to arrive on-scene and get the job. If they show up second? Nothing to do but wait with empty pockets for the next job to come along and hope they can be first when that opportunity does come calling.
Float Away = No Payday
Raising wrecked vessels can bring thousands—or it can bring nothing. The crew of Fast Response Marine Towing learned that the hard way when they worked to rescue a capsized boat that they thought would bring them a good payday, up to $5,000. After getting the call and finally locating the boat, Chris dived into the water to look for possible survivors. But, finding no one around—and facing sharks looking for a quick snack—Chuck and Chris managed to flip the boat and tow it ashore. However, after inspecting it, they realized that the boat was not a capsized vessel after all. Most likely it had been floating for months, after coming untethered who knows where or when. The boat, Chuck said, had very little, if any, value left, it was in such poor condition. Most likely result? No payday for the Fast Response.
From Rescue to Salvage
Burt Korpela and his crew on Atlantis Marine Towing & Salvage also missed a big payday. They could have scored a $20,000 rescue on a burning boat, Burt insisted, if the Coast Guard would have let them do it. No one was hurt—the owner escaped just before the boat burst into flames, according to the Coast Guard—but the Coast Guard told Atlantis to stand down from trying to put out the fire, turning the job from a rescue to a salvage operation—and a much smaller paycheck.
A Way of Life
Marine salvage takes a lot of dedication, as Downrite Marine Towing owner Ryan Sewell indicates:
“It’s a way of life. You have to be 100% dedicated to it, seven days a week, 365 days a year. I’m not engaged, never married. I’m married to the company. My girlfriend is right behind me; she just happens to be a boat.”
It is a big commitment. But, for those who choose to make that commitment, they cannot imagine any other way of doing it.
Lives on the Line
Tonight, episode "Bahama Drama" airs, and as usual, there is plenty going wrong. According to the Discovery Channel:
On Shipwreck Men, whatever can go wrong will. Big jobs bring big trouble as these salvagers take on the competition and each other. From a lucrative job in the Bahamas for Atlantis to an unusual one for the Arnold's, lives are always on the line.
Shipwreck Men airs on Discovery Channel on Monday at 9/8c.
Image: Discovery Channel
Video: Discovery Channel/Shipwreck Men