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

Deadliest Catch Sig Hansen Interview

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!

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