Deadliest Catch star Sig Hansen sat down for an interview recently with Yahoo! and opened up a bit about the most recent season of the show, what happened in the hours leading up to his heart attack, and why he was so stressed out.
Hansen says that his health scare was nothing like what you see in the movies: rather, it was just a sharp pain in his chest that only served to make him mad when he was already dealing with several trying things at once. The captain revealed that his daughter, Mandy, was on board when it happened, and there had already been an incident involving a near-electrical fire that had him anxious.
“We managed to damage the bow because of the first storm we went through. We managed to dodge an electrical fire, which was in the engine room. Fire is your biggest fear, and [my daughter] Mandy was on the boat, too, when the fire happened. That was a potential life-and-death situation, plus the insurance and all the things that come with a fire — the Coast Guard, and trying to get the boat back to the shore safely. And then the weather and the fishing itself. I went through a lot of god—- s–t this year. It was a strange heart attack. It wasn’t like you see in the movies. I had this really sharp, sharp pain, like a knife, right behind my chest plate. It just kept pushing, and it was making me more angry,” Hansen said.
It’s not the first close call for Captain Sig; the show is called The Deadliest Catch for a reason. Not only do these guys battle through ice, dangerously heavy equipment, and long stretches with no sleep, they also find themselves at the mercy of the elements. Heavy winds, rain, and ice floes impede their travels and throw the boats around while the crew members are on deck, making it one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. The stress — often accompanied by stress-smoking in the wheelhouse — has led to more than one heart attack; Tony Lara, who had been featured on the show, passed away last year of a heart attack in his sleep while attending a motorcycle rally in South Dakota. Lara had joined the show following the tragic death of Captain Phil Harris in 2010. Phil’s son Josh released a statement about Lara’s passing, saying he was a mentor as well as a friend.
“Tony was to all of us with the Cornelia Marie a true friend. Tony was always there for the Harris Family. He offered his support and his advice. He taught and he educated. At the end of the day, Tony made all of us just a little bit better.”
Sig Hansen said that the cameras were rolling when he suffered his heart attack, but that he’s not worried about the show exploiting his health scare for ratings.
“It’s okay. I suppose they could probably really twist it if they wanted to and exploit that, but I don’t think they would do that. I think they’re gonna show what’s happened. That’s the deal. Some people look at our show like some Housewives of the Bering Sea. But remember, it’s a god**** documentary. That’s why I still agree to do it. That’s what they show,” Sig Hansen said. “I thought they were respectful of Phil. Behind-the-scenes, they were really concerned about the boys, and still are. TV is one thing, and that’s a business. We all know that. But behind-the-scenes, you’ve got this big team of people and they really did worry about Phil, and his boys, and how that was gonna be treated. So I know for myself, it would be no different. Besides, my wife’s tough. If she didn’t like it, she’d knock ’em in the head anyway.”
[Photo courtesy Deadliest Catch/Facebook]