Will Captain Sig Hansen sit out Season 13 of Deadliest Catch? This is a probing question many fans have after Sig suffered a serious heart attack in Season 12. The hard-driven captain was seen on a special aired by Discovery called Sig Hansen Legacy. In the YouTube footage, Hansen’s journey is chronicled from the time he’s discharged from the hospital to when he arrives home and later visits his brother on the Northwestern.
At the beginning of the show, Sig grouses about the number of drugs he has to take, sharing with viewers all of the prescriptions on the bathroom counter. He hastily picked up a bottle of pills that he said is for depression, but is prescribed to help him with quitting smoking. His frustrations were plain to see as he expressed how exasperated he is of taking the medicine.
Hansen lit a cigarette as he talked about the struggles he’s encountered while trying to change those old habits that die hard. Although the revered captain of Deadliest Catch is supposed to be taking this critical time to recover and gain back his strength, he rationalizes that he needs something to keep him sane.
In a follow-up office visit with his cardiologist, Sig’s doctor smells nicotine on him. He told him he must kick the nicotine habit and take care of himself if he wants to go back to fishing again.
“There’s no way I could throw those things out and go through this b**sh** again,” Hansen shot back at the doctor. “Not happening.”
The cardiologist said all he can do is give him advice and whether he chooses to listen is out of his control. Sig Hansen says in his confessional interview that smoking, especially in the crab fishing industry, is a way of life. He’s not at all receptive to the idea of quitting the habit.
Sig’s brother, Edgar Hansen, is the relief captain and deck boss of the Northwestern. He then was in charge of the boat when Sig’s heart gave out. Edgar took the vessel back to Washington where hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs needed to be done. As it stands, Edgar will be in control of the boat until his older brother’s health gets stronger and the doc says he can fish again.
A few other captains were on the Sig Hansen Legacy special. Captain Keith Colburn reflected on Sig’s fisherman past and shed light on the man he’s known for decades. Captain Sean Dwyer was also on the show driving home the point to his mentor that although his father died from a health condition, Sig’s situation is different. Sean told him his dad had no choice, but Sig’s unhealthy lifestyle can be modified to give him another chance and that he shouldn’t dismiss that fact.
Captain Jake Anderson, who had a rivalry with Sig Hansen in Season 12, was on the show as well. He paid the man he’s always looked up to a visit in an attempt to make things right with him after a rocky season. Hansen felt that Jake’s actions as a captain on the Saga were an act of betrayal after he tried sabotaging the Northwestern’s crab pots at the beginning of the season. When the pair came face-to-face on the Deadliest Catch special, Sig told Jake that there’s only one way to be a good captain, and that is to be your own person. A sentimental scene played out when Jake choked up, telling Sig that can’t imagine life without him. Sig agreed that it would be devastating for his family.
The scene between Sig and Jake morphed into how the smoking and hard lifestyle has always had its place among fishermen. Jake noted that if anything kills Sig Hansen, it’ll be more than a cigarette because it’ll take a lot more to keep Sig away from fishing!
The turning point occurred during the show when Sig’s wife, June, gave him a ring on his 50th birthday that was his great-grandfather’s. It was a ring that Sig was going to get repaired back when he was 10-years-old. June handed the fully restored ring to him. Sig was overcome with emotion, realizing the ring is a link to his past. It was a watershed moment in which Sig was fully enlightened on the importance of family. He finally saw that in order to take care of his family, he essentially needs to take care of himself. The epiphany led Sig to accept that some changes need to be made when it comes to lifestyle choices that put his health in jeopardy.
“After seeing the other side of things and going back to that last event, it really made me think of being here. Every second count and I want to make sure everything will be okay. I mean there is no family if I do not take care of myself. So, that is the priority and I guess changes have to make plain and simple,” Sig said.
See video here.
The show left on an encouraging note for Sig Hansen but left fans with the strong implication that Sig Hansen won’t be on Deadliest Catch Season 13 — at least not right away. Sig appeared to at least begin to accept that he needs to tend to himself if not for his own good, his family’s. Sig Hansen is aware that the Northwestern is in good hands with Edgar at the helm until he’s fit to sit in the captain’s chair again.
[Image via Discovery Channel]