‘Deadliest Catch’ Star Mandy Hansen Opens Up About Earning Her Place on the Boat

by Joe Rutland
(Photo Courtesy Getty Images)

Working on a fishing boat has brought Deadliest Catch star Mandy Hansen some really powerful life lessons while in the Bering Sea. But Hansen, who is the daughter of longtime show captain Sig Hansen, actually has wanted to be out there. It’s quite amazing for her to talk about this as the fishing industry is pretty male-dominated.

“I always wanted to be on the water,” Mandy Hansen said in an interview with PEOPLE. “I tried looking into different areas in the maritime industry, you know, the big boats, and container ships, that was what I was trying to go for but I just realized, that’s just an office job on the water. There’s a lot more thrill in fishing. So, I went right back to it.”

Mandy Hansen of ‘Deadliest Catch’ Overcomes Father’s Reservations

Sig Hansen is readily admitting that he had some serious reservations about Mandy coming on board. “I did not want her on the boat,” Sig said. “I’ve lost so many friends… you can’t even comprehend. You’re out there risking your life.” But Mandy was going to make it come hell or high water. She was 18 years old and became one of the youngest women fishing out on the Bering Sea at wintertime.

“Fishing is part of my heritage and culture,” Mandy Hansen said. “I wasn’t going to let anyone stop me, including my dad.” These days, you also can see the Hansens working together in a new spinoff series titled Deadliest Catch: The Viking Returns. This show follows them going to Norway. “I’m just lucky that I get to spend the time with my dad and see him out there on the field,” Mandy said. “A lot of people don’t exactly get to do that. And I’m learning from one of the best.”

Daughter Is Quite Aware Of People Having Doubts About Her Abilities

Mandy Hansen is quite aware of the challenges and obstacles facing a woman in the fishing industry. Still, she’s pretty headstrong about being involved in it. “People doubting you. Or they’re going think that you are silver spoon fed or get off easy, but the fact is that I’m still out there,” Mandy said. “I’m not on land. I’m not at home. I just always try to be the hardest working person in the room and that’s the best I can do.”

Recently, Mandy became a mother and already is penciling in a trip for her daughter out to the water. “I can’t wait to bring her out there,” she said. “I don’t know about the Bering Sea, but summertime we’re at Cordova, Valdez area, much calmer. I would love to bring her out there with me.”