Sig Hansen of Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” admitted that he is now afraid to set sail to the Bering Sea after suffering a heart attack last March while filming for the show, but admits the call of the sea would not stop him from fishing.
Hansen added that with the cameras catching all that took place that day, Discovery Channel will for sure make a special out of it. He told zap2it that if they do it will be horrible for him to watch as it would only bring back bad memories of what happened that day, much like to the death of fellow captain Phil Harris in 2010.
Hansen added that with his near death experience it made him rethink his priorities in life, but added that fishing will still be on top of the list.
“I know that they were there in the hospital in Anchorage, and I know they were with me when I was medevac out of Dutch Harbor. I imagine they’ll show the whole goddamn thing, make me re-live it again,” says Hansen with a laugh.
“It’s a show of mortality and it’s like, ‘Holy moly, what am I gonna do?’ It didn’t sink in until much later … it’s like you’re thinking about your boat first, then it’s your family,” says Hansen. “Now all of a sudden you’re thinking maybe the family’s first and the boat’s second. My mind has altered a little bit. I’m still going to go fishing, but I am afraid, I’ll admit that any day.”
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He added that stress played a big part of him getting a heart attack with 20 percent coming from smoking. But the skipper of FV Northwestern revealed that the hardest part to take was when the doctors told him that he could not have sex for a week or so.
He also thanked the camera crew for stepping in and making the right decision on that day to airlift him to Anchorage and adds that after working with the film crew for 12 years they knew when to step in and when to step back.
“Yeah, I wanted to keep going. I was in denial. It was more denial than anything else. We got the boat in, and I was in Dutch Harbor for, I think, two hours, and they were doing their tests because it was a sneaky one. Then we found out it was a full blown heart attack, and then we did the medevac to Anchorage.
“I think what saved my life was the shot you get for any blood clots. There was a blood clot lodged in one of my arteries, and it dissolved it. And then, of course, you get treated for the heart attack, if you need stints and all this other stuff. But I’m a pretty lucky guy, because it was right there on a wishbone, and had it gone the one way, down the widowmaker, there would have been no chance. It got lodged right up there, so pretty lucky,” Hansen added.
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Hansen stressed that the show will still continue even if he is not around. He added that the “Deadliest Catch” has managed to touch the lives of the younger generation. He stated that he is happy that he is able to witness the evolution of the show. Hansen explains that the show will come out stronger than ever as crab finishing is an industry that will never die.
“[‘Deadliest Catch’] will probably keep going ’til I die. [laughs] It’s been 12 seasons, it’s pretty amazing. It really is. … I think it’s gonna keep going. It’s already passed a generation. I think it’s passed down through generations. I can’t tell you how many people I meet where they’ll say my mom and dad always watch the show with us, kids, it’s the only family show they watch together, which just blows my mind. It’s amazing that it can go on that long and be just as strong, if not stronger,” Hansen said.
A heart attack will not stop the 50-year old captain from earning a living not only for his family but also for the family of his crew. Hansen is known as a fighter and a risk taker but he will not set sail if his life or the lives of his men will be at stake.
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