It only takes a few minutes of watching captain Sig Hansen on Deadliest Catch to know he was born to fish. According to the very first episode of the
ground ice-breaking reality series, the Norwegian captain of the Northwestern “started fishing with his father at age 12. He took over as captain of the Northwestern when he was just 22 years old. It continues to be a family business, with Sig as captain, his brothers Norman and Edgar are deckhands on the Northwestern.”
“It’s been in our family for as long as I can remember. It’s a way of our life,” Sig says.
“You know, you’re great grandfather, your grandfather, your dad – it’s just kind of instilled in you. I never questioned that this was what I was going to do.”
And apparently neither did his brothers! Check out this amazing photo of the Hansen boys during a family outing in the Cascades in the 1970s:
That’s Sig Hansen there on the left with Edgar Hansen in the middle and Norman Hansen on the far right.
“We’re fortunate in a way in that we’ve done this since we were kids,” Sig says. “To us it is second nature.”
And just in case you wanted to know a little more about Sig Hansen’s history, here’s the bio from his official Facebook page:
CAPTAIN SIG HANSEN born in Seattle, Washington is the first generation from his family born in the United States. He is a fourth generation fisherman and one of the featured Captain’s on Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch. Sig is the oldest of three boys, their father Sverre Hansen was one of the pioneers in the Alaskan King Crab fishery in Alaska and the builder of the family boat, Northwestern.
Captain Sig began commercial fishing at age 14 under the watchful eye of his father. Sig often left school early just before summer to fish for salmon on a gillnetter in Bristol Bay, Alaska. Once salmon season ended he would join the Northwestern to fish the Blue and Red king crab fisheries in Saint Matthews Island and Nome. Sig occasionally had the opportunity to fish Mackerel and Cod in Norway during the summer.
After graduating from high school, he began fishing year-round, spending on average 10 months per year in Alaska. At 22, Sig started relieving captains on the Northwestern. This job is known as a “relief skipper.” As one of the youngest captains in the fleet Sig knew he had to either show results or get replaced. He opted for results. By 26, he began serving full time as the Captain of the Northwestern. Over the years, the Northwestern has been a top producer with an excellent safety record. The Northwestern has never had any loss of life or serious injuries in the history of its operation and Captain Sig is proud of being able to carry on that flawless record started by his father and for over the last 20 years he has delivered not only the crab but doing so safely. Sig considers this his greatest accomplishment for one of the world’s most dangerous occupations in the world.
^ Sing Hansen’s brother Norman Hansen was also born to fish!
Currently, Captain Sig is the Captain and Co-owner of the Northwestern. Co-owned by his two brothers Edgar Hansen serves as the Deck Boss and Norman Hansen serves aboard as deck hand. Sig lives in Seattle with his wife, June and their two children.