Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame
Sigurd “Sig” Hansen, captain of the commercial fishing vessel Northwestern, has made a splash not only on the sea but on the television screen. Hansen is one of the featured captains on the Discovery Channel’s reality adventure series, Deadliest Catch.
A fourth-generation fisherman, Hansen is the first of his family to have been born in the United States, in Seattle, Washington. He began commercial fishing at age 14 under the watchful eye of his father, Sverre Hansen, a pioneer in the Alaskan king crab fishery in Alaska and builder of the Northwestern. The younger Hansen would often leave the school term early to join his father in Alaskan waters, and he occasionally had the opportunity to mine the waters of Norway, land of his heritage.
After graduating from high school Hansen began fishing year-round, spending 10 months a year in Alaska. At age 22 he became a “relief skipper” and as one of the youngest captains in the fleet had to show results or be replaced. He opted for results, and by age 26 he began serving full time as captain of the Northwestern.
Over the years, the Northwestern has been a top producer but, more importantly, has never been associated with loss of life or serious injury. For Captain Sig, carrying on the flawless record started by his father is his greatest accomplishment. Commercial fishing is considered one of the world’s most dangerous occupations.
Hansen is the current captain and co-owner of the Northwestern. He works alongside his brothers Edgar Hansen (Deck Boss) and Norman Hansen (Deck Hand). He also serves as technical advisor for Deadliest Catch.