Sig Hansen

The son of a Norwegian fisherman, Sig began fishing at age 14. His father came from a long line of fishermen and was one of the first to develop the King crab industry in Alaska.

While still in high school, Sig served as a deckhand on a salmon gillnetter and joined his father aboard the family boat the Northwestern which worked the crab fisheries in Alaskan waters. Sig also had a chance during some summers to return to his roots and fish in Norwegian waters.

After finishing high school, Sig took up fishing full time, spending many months every year in Alaska. At the young age of 22, he was already enough of a veteran to serve as a “relief captain” on the Northwestern. Four years later, he became the boat’s full-time captain and one of the youngest ever to take command.

From his earliest years at the Northwestern‘s helm, Sig has known that his position in the captain’s chair depends completely on results. Bring home the catch or go back to being a deckhand!

Sig is a hard-driving captain who can push himself and his crew to work grueling hours under extreme conditions. Under that tough exterior, however, lies a fatherly and compassionate man who puts a premium on family responsibility. His wife, Juna, calls in weather reports (delivered in Norwegian!) and Sig keeps close to her and their three daughters back onshore.

One of the most irrepressible captains ever to tackle the Bering Sea, Sig ventured into Season 12 with his trademark gusto, swagger, and veteran savvy. After quickly meeting his king quota, Sig returned to helm the Northwestern for opies but was besieged with merciless weather and multiple equipment setbacks. Sig’s veteran crew resiliently battled the elements, but eventually began to wear down.

In desperate need of another hand, Sig turned to his daughter, Mandy, to assist the ailing vessel. However, shortly after her arrival, an electrical fire erupted in the engine room, temporarily crippling the ship and mandating costly repairs. Falling behind on his quota, Sig doubled-down to make up for lost time. The escalating stress of the grind ultimately proved overbearing, and Sig suffered a major heart attack.

Although the doctors were fortunately able to treat Sig in time, his prognosis was grim — Sig had barely escaped a stress-induced heart attack that doctors referred to as “the Widowmaker.” In order to avoid another attack, Sig had to subscribe to a new lifestyle of prescription drugs, and ideally one without cigarettes, but he has yet to kick the habit. Sig approaches the new season with genuine concerns: Does he still possess the requisite stamina to weather the unforgiving sea? His livelihood and, more importantly, his life may depend on it.
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