‘Deadliest Catch’: Sig Hansen’s Crazy Details About Coming Close to Russian Captains While at Sea

by Lauren Boisvert

Deadliest Catch star captain Sig Hansen has had a lot of accomplishments and close calls in his career. As far as accomplishments go, he’s training his daughter to take over the Northwestern’s wheelhouse when he retires; he also recently purchased an old fish factory on an island in Norway. As for close calls, his boat almost capsized in the Bering Strait once, and, like all people in his line of work, he’s lost friends at sea.

But, according to Nicki Swift, captain Hansen used to cross over into Russian waters seemingly unnoticed; before GPS and satellite tracking, of course. Talk about both an accomplishment and a close call.

‘Deadliest Catch’ Star Admits to Russian Border-Hopping

“Before you had this GPS and the definitive line,” Hansen told Nicki Swift, “we have what’s called a gray zone.” That “gray zone” is what got Hansen and his friends over into Russia and back without incident. They would fish in Russian waters before hopping back over the border unseen. That is, Hansen explains, until one time, he went a bit too far.

“We went across the line and what we thought was the line, a little bit too far and they had Russell gunships coming out.” The Deadliest Catch star recalls the sight of Russian ships blocking his path: “The guys just saw our sodium lights on, and it was at night, just had an armada to go, you know, and get it back.” In a Hollywood Life interview last year, Sig remarked on the same gray zone: “we’ve competed with the Russians before,” he said. ” It got to the point where some of the guys had friends that were fishing so far over the Russian gunships have come after him. It’s a little different nowadays.”

He also reflects on the nature of Deadliest Catch itself, stating, “You never know, right, it’s, it’s just unscripted. There’s so much unknown, and that’s what makes it fun.”

What Is Sig Hansen Doing Now?

Currently, Deadliest Catch is in its 17th season; captain Sig Hansen is still fishing on the Northwestern, teaching his daughter Mandy the ropes of becoming captain of a commercial fishing vessel. When asked about his daughter joining the crew in 2020, Hansen said, “it was a little nerve-wracking, but at the same time, I expect failure. I expect her to not be perfect. I have to remind myself of that. It’s really hard to remind yourself of that when you’re in the moment.”

In the most recent episode of Deadliest Catch, “Winter’s Gambit,” Sig, Mandy, and the Northwestern crew ventured into Sig’s old stomping grounds; waters he hadn’t fished in 17 years. In a clip from Deadliest Catch, the Northwestern seems to haul in something big and exciting, judging by the reactions from the captain and crew. Fans who missed it will have to catch up on episode 18 to find out what.