Deadliest Catch Sig Hansen Interview

Deadliest Catch's Sig Hansen: Captain Survived Fire at Sea by 'Lying to Myself'

When a fire breaks out aboard the Northwestern in this week’s Deadliest Catch, captain Sig Hansen does what you or I almost certainly would and flips the hell out. But, unlike us, he only freaks on the inside. Here, the Bering Sea veteran shares with TVLine his strategy for survival, reveals the outcome of the blaze (spoiler alert!) and contemplates switching to a career that might not be quite so hazardous to his health!

TVLINE | You’re in the middle of nowhere, miles from help, and a fire breaks out below deck. What’s your first thought?
Honestly, I think I was more afraid than anybody. I just wanted to stay calm. We do a lot of safety programs, and they always tell you to stay calm, so I just repeated that to myself to try and believe it. I think I was lying to myself, put it that way. [Laughs]

TVLINE | It must have worked. You’re still here today to do this interview.
We were very lucky. It gets to the point where, when you have a fire you can’t put out [on the water], you’re on your own little island. So we were very lucky that we didn’t have to get in lifeboats and actually leave the boat. The guys were super lucky that we were awake when the fire broke out, so they were able to put it out right when it happened.

TVLINE | Had your daughter rejoined the crew at that point?
Yeah, Mandy was on board. But I wasn’t thinking so much about her. You think about that after the fact, which is bizarre. It’s like your worst fear [your child being in danger], but [in that moment], I wasn’t thinking specifically about her. [A fire at sea is] one of the scariest things you can be involved in.

TVLINE | That being the case, have you had any second thoughts about your line of work?
Yes. But I’m too stupid to do anything else. [Laughs]

The episode premieres on Discovery Tuesday evening at 9/8c after the captains rate and debate the season to date on Deadliest Catch: The Bait (8/7c).

What do you think, Deadliest Catch fans — aside from Sig, which captain would you want to have in charge in a crisis situation? Hit the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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42 Comments
  1. Grady Boney says:

    They all seem to me to get unnerved or even hot tempered sometimes, but i guess it’s the stress of the job that seems to make them go off the deep end at times. Calmness would certainly be an attribute to this profession i would think.

  2. Bella says:

    Sig is my favorite.

    • patchie61 says:

      sSg is one of the biggest ego ass. He gives Edgar no respect or credit and clearly Edgar works harder than Sig.

      • cwhitlow says:

        Ever the heard the saying about not passing judgment on someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes? I think this goes double-time with the Captains. In order to deal with issues, these guys have learned to go from 0 to 300 in the snap of fingers by the sheer effect of adrenaline….and adrenaline surges are often not pleasant for anyone to experience.

  3. Belle says:

    Fire is the biggest threat for anyone at sea or a lake with no land in sight, regardless of their job!! I’ve been watching these guys for 12 years now, I’ve seen everyone have meltdowns and turn into angry ogres…well except maybe for Mack White previously on the Seabrooke and now on the Cape Caution with Wild Bill. Is he the cutest and smilest crew member ever :)

  4. J Minshall says:

    I started to say Sig or Keith, but then I thought what about Andy or John or Bill. Then I realized that all of the captains are “old salts” who can handle any dangerous situations that come up because they are ready for anything. They’ve seen it all happen to other captains boats, and have already thought through what they would do in the same situations, so they are ready to go into action and not freeze up.

  5. Carlos says:

    Andy or Keith for sure! They are the smartest captains in the Bearing Sea hands down.

  6. Lori Mahaffey says:

    Sig or Andy

  7. HILDA says:

    PODRÍAN TRADUCIRLO AL ESPAÑOL? GRACIAS POR SU AMABLE ATENCIÓN!

  8. nancy says:

    Sig please don’t even think about leaving us!!!!!!!!

  9. Steve says:

    Kieth or Andy are the coolest thinking in an emergency .

  10. Kathleen Ewings says:

    Sig is my favorite but I think any of the other captains would handle the situation like a pro.

  11. Phyllis says:

    Wild Bill would be my captain.
    He gets there ass’s moving.

  12. SpdBmp says:

    Anybody but Sig… I realize he is very capable and experienced, but this season he has shown a very ugly side of himself. Double standard when it comes to being planned. It was acceptable for Sig to set his gear virtually on top of Jake’s, but when that favor was returned by two (three actually) younger boat Captains, Sig was furious, and tonight’s episode of the bait made it clear that he is not over it. I find that to be very childish on his part, and I lost respect for him as a result. I don’t work for him, and our paths won’t ever cross, so there is no way he can ever earn my respect back. Plus, I am aware of some of his other faults that I have learned about from others first hand. I won’t repeat them, since the fact of the matter is, it’s technically heresay, even though I trust my source. But Sig deserves that much respect due to his history as a boat Captain. I wish I’d never laid eyes on the whole issue with Jake, I’d much rather hold Sig in high esteem.

  13. Nancy Herron says:

    I have never missed an episode since it began, but it takes more than a Captain when the ship is in danger. A well seasoned crew that “knows” the ship is what makes a difference in Fire at Sea situation. We lost “the Best Captain when Phil passed” no one will ever take his place. I would stake my life with Keith, Andy or Wild Bill. They know their ship inside and out. And I have truly believe it is past time for Sig to permanently step away for his own good and turn it over to his younger brother and I do mean TURN it over. He meddled too much last season. I lost a ton of respect for him on that one. Edgar can do it, he just needs the confidence to do it. Wild Bill is my favorite character, He shines in my eyes as a veteran Captain with a very good sense of command and what his crew and the boat can tolerate. The Saga needs cut from the series plain and simple, good commercial time. Jake is just too emotional to be a Captain. I seriously think if you bring Elliott Neese back that originally ran the Saga i would stop watching period. BrennaA great addition, Love the new Captain and I see a LOT of potential there. Only time will tell.. well there you have it.. my personal critique. Looking forward to Next Year already.

  14. Deal with the problem first and fall apart later.

  15. denis coughlin says:

    any captain can be in charge they do not fall apart in time of crisis AMEN, AMEN.

  16. Joe Gonzalez says:

    Glad everyone reacted as a team and are now safe

  17. Richard Heine says:

    The late Phil Harris.

  18. Keith says:

    I watched the teasers for a week. Then watched the show and all they showed was the teaser footage at the end of the show and pushed it to next week. Shame you Discover channel. That was a bunch of bull. Love the show. Really despise when networks do this crap for ratings!

  19. Jon Hillstrand …. When that crewman from a crab boat off of the Time Bandit’s starboard side lost his grip hanging on the side of the crab pot stack and fell in, Jon only had seconds to react to turn his boat and get his boat and crew in position to make the rescue. That was quick thinking in a life and death situation where seconds really count. BRAVO ZULU to Jon Hillstrand and the Time Bandit crew … a USCG veteran sends.

  20. Poppy says:

    Boo Hoo the Captains yell at people, Wow! They go off the deep end?…what do you say about the mentality and expectations of clueless people looking for politeness at work? Hundreds of miles from land, with any and all things possible….oh guys, can you please hold the pot correctly? Thank you…and stay away from the sides of the boat, ya know it’s dangerous, Thank you….I know hands down if I could partake in a week on the boat, Sig would be my choice….every shot he finds the crab and gets it done!

    • Mac says:

      This is one of the reasons ( other than the fact that I honestly couldn’t do the job) that I’d never work for loud mouth a-holes like Sig or wild Bill. Run your mouth get busted in the mouth. That I could and would do. Win, lose, or draw scream at me like that and I’d punch you right in the mouth every time. Sooner or later you’d get tired of bleeding teeth !

      • cwhitlow says:

        Perhaps you are unclear on the difference between being a captain and being a deck hand…and the fact that captains each have their own way of handling things. If the captain brings them all back and all alive, IMO, everything else is just gravy.

  21. You laugh and say you are to stupid do any thing else. Not true fear must be faced, or you become less of a person than you are. You sir would never accept that.

  22. Hire me, Lyuda Skrebneva, Ratface Putin’s ex-wife. Vova dump me for that Kubayeva womans, then threaten to repo my 2013 Maybach and McDacha. Now I need money. Once married to Ratface, I am living proof of fearlessness. Resume includes ownership of Kilo-class submarine and passion for fish!

    Vote LYUDA-2016. She never scam you.

  23. Brian Veysey says:

    You would want a Captain exactly like Sig that has been around forever, stays calm, keeps the crew calm and keeps everyone focused on determining what the problem is and then focused on the solution! Panic from the Captain will only lead to panic amongst the crew and when that occurs then the problem becomes exponentially worse! Fire at sea is nothing to fool with as it could take away your ship and if that happens there is a good chance that the Bering Sea will end up winning in the end!

  24. Bobby Ayers says:

    I’ve always wanted to do a trip with Sig anyway just to cook for them.I would definately wanna be with Sig in an emergency at sea.This is my # 1 show and have never missed an episode and many i’ve watched two or three times!

  25. Deb says:

    Sig always.

  26. John Lancaster says:

    Sig would be my first choice. Out of all the captains he is the most level headed and family oriented. He has got my vote

  27. Good job brothers ,keeping a cool head at the time is what saved all of you..Working on board a boat is very hard work , good times and bad . A fire would be the worst . God bless Cap.

  28. Glenn Mitchell says:

    I think Jon H. would be the one I’d want to work for, but I’m a little to old for that kind of work. The loyalty shown by the veteran deckhands on the Time Bandit says alot about the Hillstrand’s operation and how they treat crew members.
    What happened when Edgar was captain would have resulted in court martials in the Coast Guard or Navy. Go Edgar, I’m rooting for you!

  29. Cyndi O says:

    Experience matters in crisis. Sig, or Jonathan. They have been fishing since childhood and know their vessels inside and out. All skippers watch out for whoever is onboard, but I believe these two guys would truly put everyone else before themselves.

  30. Brenda Shearon says:

    Keith is very good @ prioritizing complex situations, such as when a wave took out 3 of his crew.

  31. cwhitlow says:

    Captain Keith would be a good man in a catastrophe. Considering the fact that a lot of the time we see them on DC they are in a full-bore adrenaline boogy, I think most of the captains, when sober, do a danged fine job in unbelievable circumstances.

  32. Charlyn says:

    I think I’d prefer to have Johnathan as Capt during a crisis situation. He seems to be more in touch.

  33. Jon. He used to have a lot of fun shooting fireworks and guns but i think he has gotten older and more careful. His laugh makes you laugh. I’ve watched from the start of the show and have watched everyone grow. Keith is more mellow and careful. He don’t make them fish in the storms like he used to. He is more cautious about the safety of everyone. But aside from Sig Andy would have the most level head in a crisis. Years back he lost a crew member but got to save a life by watching another boat and was right there when the deck hand fell into the Sea. It probably will never feel good about losing someone, but he gets to feel good about saving a strangers life by his paying attention and acting fast. Andy should stay off the show. Don’t like at all.

  34. Carolyn says:

    Cigarette after cigarette after cigarette after cigarette after cigarette after cigarette. Everyone of them is a time bomb waiting to go off. Get a clue crabbers. All of you that smoke WILL have a heart attack.