Capt. Sean Dwyer began his career as a commercial crab fisherman at the age of 13 on his parents boat, the Jennifer A. The boat and crew spent their summers tendering salmon in SE Alaska, giving greenhorn Sean plenty of time to get his feet wet in calmer seas. After graduating high school at Inglemoor HS in Kenmore WA, Sean decided to further his education in Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology at South Seattle College. “Knowing every inch of the engine room and how to solve problems gives me the best advantage I can have in case of an emergency.” Sean’s extensive knowledge of the boats and overall passion for the industry has contributed to his successful career.
Fishing in the Bering Sea requires a dedication and mindful attitude that few other industries demand. “My dad provided me with the best example of what hard work looks like and he gave me the tools I needed to carry on his legacy.” In 2005 Sean’s dad, Patrick Ford Dwyer (PFD), was diagnosed with ALS, also known Lou Gherig’s Disease. “A diagnosis like that only means one thing; time becomes limited.” The notion of time and the importance of not wasting it is something Sean and his family hold close to their hearts. “It plays an important role in all of our lives and is often taken for granted.”
Sean Dwyer’s father took him on his first fishing trip and then his life changed forever. Find out the drive behind Sean’s ambition.
"my dad was my best friend.
his passing was hard,
but i am reminded everyday
of why i do what i do."
Having a father without time to waste meant no time to stand around. Shortly after Pat’s diagnosis, the family business acquired the fishing vessel Shishaldin, later named the F/V Brenna A after his daughter, Brenna Adele. The progression of his disease meant gradually losing his abilities to work on the boat. Sean became his hands, eyes and ears. “My dad was stubborn but he was a good teacher.” The pair often disagreed on the path but always wanted the same solution. Pat’s goal was to see both of his boats, The Jennifer A, named after his wife, and the Brenna A fishing crab together.
In June of 2013, Pat lost his 8 year battle with ALS. Just a few months shy of being able to see his dream become a reality. “My dad was my best friend. His passing was hard but I am reminded everyday of why I do what I do.” Sean and his family work to raise awareness and money for ALS research alongside ALSTDI, the largest research facility dedicated to finding a cure for ALS.
In 2015 Capt. Sean, the Brenna A and crew were featured for the first time on Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch”. The Dwyer’s story and Sean’s calm and collected attitude captured the audience and earned respect among the veteran captains of the show. “At 23, I was the youngest captain in the Bering Sea.” His age earned him a platform for criticism but a successful season earned him a spot at the table. His second season on the show will bring more of the story into the homes of his fans. His hope is to continue to raise awareness for ALS and money for research. “When it comes to fishing my goal is always the same. Full pots and fingers crossed for fair winds and following seas.”