The Deadliest Job in America is, claimed to be crab fishing on the Bering Sea. A good season can make one man a year’s salary in just a few days! With forty-foot waves, 700 pound crab pots, freezing temperatures and your mortality staring you in the face…this job ranks as one of the deadliest.
While still in high school, Sig served as a deckhand on a salmon gillnetter and joined his father aboard the family boat the Northwestern which worked the crab fisheries in Alaskan waters. Sig also had a chance during some summers to return to his roots and fish in Norwegian waters
After finishing high school, Sig took up fishing full time, spending many months every year in Alaska. At the young age of 22, he was already enough of a veteran to serve as a "relief captain" on the Northwestern. Four years later, he became the boat's full-time captain and one of the youngest ever to take command.
From his earliest years at the Northwestern's helm, Sig has known that his position in the captain's chair depends completely on results. Bring home the catch or go back to being a deckhand.
Sig is a hard-driving captain who can push himself and his crew to work grueling hours under extreme conditions. Under that tough exterior, however, lies a fatherly and compassionate man who puts a premium on family responsibility. His wife, Juna, calls in weather reports and Sig keeps close to her and their three daughters back onshore.
He extends his connection to family out to his crew. Sig kept deckhand Jake Anderson's slot open when Jake had to go ashore after his sister's death - something other skippers might have refused to do. And last year, Sig trained his brother Edgar to take over as captain of the Northwestern.
For nearly two decades, Sig has seen to it that the Northwestern is one of the Alaskan crab industry's top producers. Sig considers this performance essential, but he'll tell you that a greater accomplishment by far is the lack of any major accidents onboard the Northwestern. The best captains bring home the catch - and boat and crew - safely.
Sig Hansen Photos
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