‘Deadliest Catch’: How Sig Hansen Survived a Boat Fire By ‘Lying’ to Himself

by Jon D. B.
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“Honestly, I think I was more afraid than anybody,” says Deadliest Catch icon Sig Hansen of the 2016 Northwestern fire at sea.

That’s a statement that’s hard to believe. For fans who’ve seen the summer of 2016 episode in which Capt. Hansen’s ship burst into flames in the open ocean – he certainly handled it well. Or, far better than most would, at least. The Bering Sea veteran has seen a thing or two in his time, after all.

But when TV Line asked the good captain how he felt about the harrowing situation, he’s the first to admit he was terrified.

“Honestly, I think I was more afraid than anybody,” he tells the trade. “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.”

In short: “I think I was lying to myself, put it that way,” Hansen says. To which TV Line responds that “it worked,” because the captain is still here for Deadliest Catch interviews like this one. All too true.

Yet Hansen knows he and his crew “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,” he continues.

Moreover, “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,” Hansen offers.

‘Deadliest Catch’: Capt. Sig Hansen’s Daughter Was Onboard During Northwestern Fire

Yet it could have been so, so much worse. Continuing for the trade, Hansen reveals that “Yeah, Mandy was on board… But I wasn’t thinking so much about her. You think about that after the fact, which is bizarre,” he says.

We’ll chalk that one up to survival instincts for the OG Deadliest Catch captain.

“It’s like your worst fear [your child being in danger],” he adds, “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.”

Now that we can’t argue with.

Of the dangers she’s faced herself on Deadliest Catch, Mandy Hansen says it’s the tremendous waves that scare her most.

“You don’t realize it’s that dangerous until you get one of those waves pop up,” she said in a recent interview. Mandy also says, however, that this is “the only scary part,” so she may be even tougher than her dear ol’ dad.

For all the latest from Deadliest Catch, stick with your fellow Outsiders.

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