Deadliest Catch

Sig Gets Lucky, Survives Massive Heart Attack at Sea | Deadliest Catch

Sig Gets Lucky, Survives Massive Heart Attack at Sea | Deadliest Catch

Sig Hansen’s Terrifying Heart Attack On Deadliest Catch

Sig Hansen smiling

The popular Discovery Channel show “Deadliest Catch” has had its fair share of tragedy. These include the death of captain Phil Harris and the tragic loss of an entire crabbing boat in Season 13. Then you’ve got many other deaths of fishermen both on and off the water. But occasionally, tragedy is avoided and lives are spared from the deadly lifestyle of fishing on the Bering Sea.

Captain Sig Hansen of the F/V Northwestern is one of those people who could have met a tragic end but instead was able to defy the odds and make it back to port just in time. Hansen has been a fan favorite since he first appeared in the pilot for the show in 2005. Hansen would even go on to be named the favorite captain on the show by Redditors. As such, it was no surprise that his fans freaked out when TMZ first reported that he suffered a heart attack while onboard of his boat while filming the 12th season of “Deadliest Catch.”

‘We’re doing your interview, I’m not dying,’ Hansen said

Sig Hansen in pain
In Season 12, Episode 18 of “Deadliest Catch,” Sig Hansen can be seen discussing how stressful the season has been for him. After saying that the season won’t end until the Northwestern makes it to Seattle, Hansen struggles to complete his next sentence and clutches his chest, admitting that he’s in pain. When asked by a producer if there’s anything wrong, Hansen defiantly replies, “We’re doing your interview. I’m not dying.”

Hansen turned out to be wrong, as Discovery essentially filmed him having a heart attack at sea. He could have died that day. as he revealed during an interview with Hoda Kotb and Matt Lauer just months before the 12th season was set to air, “I was lucky, that was a 50/50 chance,” the captain said.

Luck was definitely on his side because Hansen was only about an hour from port after completing the season when he started to complain of chest pains. At first, Hansen didn’t think it was anything more than just some muscle pain in his chest and arm that may have come about from bad sleep. But he later found out that he had suffered from a specific type of heart attack known as the “widowmaker.” This type of heart attack is one of the more deadly. “As heart attacks go, a widowmaker can be particularly lethal because of the location and extent of the blockage,” the University of Michigan health blog explains.

Sig recovered, but didn’t learn his lesson

Sig Hansen looks worried

Sig Hansen ended up recovering from his heart attack and returning to “Deadliest Catch” the very next season. His decision to go back to the Northwestern and the hectic world of the show might not have been the best decision, however. Just a few years after his initial heart attack in 2016, Hansen suffered another “widowmaker” heart attack during the offseason in 2019. Hansen would break the news of his second health scare to his daughter Mandy and their crew during the Season 15 premiere of “Deadliest Catch.”

“I go to the emergency, one of my arteries was completely blocked off,” Hansen said to Mandy and his deckhands, who were not only concerned about his well-being, but also his ability to captain the ship after having a heart attack. He later explained that he had to talk his doctors into letting him captain the ship; this is a very concerning comment when you are about to head off to the rough waters of the Bering Sea.

But, in the end, Hansen made his way through that season without incident and continues to be a star character on the show.

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