After Captain Sig Hansen suffered a heart attack aboard the Northwestern last March, fans were itching to find out if he was alright, and if he would be returning to Deadliest Catch.
While Sig is certainly back for season 13, he hasn’t commented on whether he’ll be coming back after this. Some captains have already pulled out. Captain Johnathan Hillstrand of the Time Bandit recently revealed that Season 13 would be his last, while Captain Johnathan Harris won’t be back at all– he announced that he wasn’t coming back for Deadliest Catch on his Facebook page last October.
Last year, Discovery Channel aired a special called Sig Hansen Legacy. In the episode, Hansen voices his frustrations about the heart attack. In a follow-up appointment with his cardiologist, he’s warned that he won’t be able to go back to fishing until he stops smoking. Hansen retaliates. “There’s no way I could throw those things out and go through this b**sh** again. Not happening.”
In Hansen’s mind, smoking has always been part of the fisherman lifestyle. But then his wife, June, gave Sig her great-grandfather’s ring for his 50th birthday. Inquisitr writes, “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 episode culminated on a happy note, but did leave viewers with the feeling that Sig wouldn’t be returning for Season 13 of the show. Luckily for DC fans, that isn’t the case.
Hansen has discussed his heart attack before, and though he has downplayed it at times, he seems to now realize the degree to which his health affects those he loves. In an interview last March, Sig told Yahoo, “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.” Sig fell unconscious, and when he woke, he tried to convince his crew that he was ok to continue. Fortunately, the show’s producers and the rest of the Northwestern urged him to head to Dutch Harbor. Once on land, Sig learned that he had, in fact, suffered a full blown heart attack, and he was airlifted to a medical facility in Anchorage.
Hansen later told People, “It was actually scarier when you got home and then you realize, ‘Did that really happen? In the moment it wasn’t so bad, just made me angry.'” Over the past few months, Sig has made a number of lifestyle changes. He’s trying to eat more healthy, and he’s also tried to give up cigarettes.
On April 30, 2016, almost two months after the attack, Sig posted a Tweet with his family celebrating his birthday at Disney. A source told HollywoodLife, “Sig is doing much better after he was cared for at Providence Medical Center Alaska in Anchorage. He was discharged, March 2, after receiving treatment for a heart attack. He is with family, doing better and resting.”
When he sat down with People again, Hansen reiterated how his he owes his survival to his fishing boat crew and the show’s producer, all of whom urged him to go to the hospital as soon as he showed symptoms of a heart attack. Hansen said, “The doctor said I’d had a 50-50 chance of surviving. It made me realize that I’ve always put my job first. Now it’s time to be here for my family. I’m changing my life so I can be here for them.”
It seems like Sig has done a good job of kicking old habits and getting healthy. While he spent time focusing on his body and family, the Northwestern rested in the trusted hands of Sig’s brother, Edgar.