Sig Hansen

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Sig Hansen
Sig Hansen aboard the FV Northwestern
Born Sigurd Jonny Hansen
(1966-04-28) April 28, 1966 (age 50)
Seattle, Washington, U.S.[1]
Occupation Captain aboard the Northwestern, Author, voice over actor
Spouse(s) June Hansen
Children Nina and Mandy Hansen

Sigurd Jonny "Sig" Hansen (born April 28, 1966) is an American captain of the fishing vessel Northwestern. Since 2006, Hansen has been featured in all seasons of the documentary television series Deadliest Catch, for which he also serves as technical advisor for the production.[2]

Early life[edit]

Sigurd Jonny Hansen was born the oldest of three sons (Sigurd, Edgar, and Norman) of Sverre Hansen in Seattle, descended from a long lineage of Norwegian-ancestry fishermen; his father and grandfather pioneered opilio crab fishing in Alaska as a way of giving crab boats a chance to earn money year-round rather than in short, mostly late-year seasons. He began fishing at age 14, working on his family's boat. After he graduated from high school, he began fishing year-round, spending on average 10 months per year in Alaska and the Bering Sea. Occasionally he also fished mackerel and cod in Norway during the summer. In his early years, he cut school so that he could go fishing.[2]


Hansen started as a deckhand on his father's boat before his teenage years, working his way up the ranks. At age 22, he became a “relief skipper”, relieving other captains on the Northwestern, as well as doing short-haul stints on other boats in the fleet.[3]

By age 24, he began running the Northwestern full-time. Over the years, the boat has become a top producer with an excellent safety record; it has never had a single death at sea in the nearly 20 years Hansen has been at its helm, and its serious injury rate is significantly lower than other boats in the Bering Sea fleet as well. In 2005 for King Crab and 2006 for Opilio, the Northwestern won the final derby seasons, taking home the titles for both the highest poundage caught and the highest dollars earned between the featured boats in the Deadliest Catch.[3]

As of 2011, Hansen serves as the full-time captain during king and opilio crab seasons, as well as the pot cod fishery on the Northwestern. His younger brothers, Edgar and Norman, are deck boss and deckhand, respectively.

In March 2010, Hansen became a published author with the release of his book (co-written with Mark Sundeen) North By Northwestern: A Seafaring Family on Deadly Alaskan Waters, which reached the bestseller list of the New York Times[4] and the Wall Street Journal.[citation needed]

On April 29, 2010, Hansen was a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. During the show, he expressed his desire to be a contestant on the next season of the hit ABC reality television series Dancing with the Stars.[5] Leno's staff set up a Facebook page to gather support for him to be selected for the show.[6] In September 2010, Hansen announced that he would not return for the seventh season of Deadliest Catch. However, on October 8, it was announced that Hansen would come back to the show.

He provided the voice of a boat named Crabby (modeled after the Northwestern herself) in the Disney Pixar film Cars 2.[7]

Hansen was a competitor in the 14th season of Donald Trump's reality game show The Celebrity Apprentice.[8]

In 2014, Sig Hansen was inducted into the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame, along with legendary Tonight Show bandleader, Doc Severinsen, and famed singer, Bobby Vee.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Hansen and his wife, June, live with their two daughters, Nina and Mandy, in Seattle. He is an alumnus of Shorewood High School.

Like his brothers, he speaks fluent Norwegian, which he learned before English as his Norwegian parents spoke the language at home. He follows the "Norwegian Fisherman's Diet" while at sea: coffee, chocolate, and cigarettes.[3] He is a supporter of the sports teams the Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Mariners. [3]

On March 2, 2016, Hansen suffered a heart attack, which was recorded and shown on Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch. He continues to recover at his home in Seattle, Washington.

On March 17, 2017, Hansen responded to allegations of child sexual abuse in the Seattle Times.[10]


  1. ^ Hansen, Sig. North by Northwestern. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2010
  2. ^ a b Seattle fishermen find riches and fame on "Deadliest Catch"
  3. ^ a b c d Scott, Danny (2005-09-25). "Sig Hansen". Times Online. London. Retrieved 2015-05-20. (subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ Schuessler, Jennifer. "Hardcover". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ Hansen expresses desire to appear on Dancing with the Stars
  6. ^ "Sig Hansen - Facebook". 
  7. ^ "Captain Sig's voice starring in Cars 2 as Crabby the Boat". HULIQ. May 13, 2011. Retrieved May 16, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Kate Gosselin, Sig Hansen fired on 'Celebrity Apprentice'". 
  9. ^, The Washington Times. "3 new inductees to Scandinavian-American Hall". 
  10. ^ Kamb, Lewis. "Estranged daughter sues 'Deadliest Catch' star Sig Hansen, alleging she was molested as a child". The Seattle Times. The Seattle Times Company. Retrieved 16 April 2017. 

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