We’ve all come to know Sig Hansen as the grouchy but super successful captain of the Northwestern in the Discovery Channel show The Deadliest Catch. The show is a documentary television series and follows the real-life behind the scenes action aboard fishing vessels in the Bering Sea during the Alaskan king crab, bairdi crab, and snow crab fishing seasons. While it doesn’t sound like the kind of show that would appeal to a vast audience of people it’s enjoyed incredible success and the 13th season of the show premiered in April this year. The show has been nominated for eight Primetime Emmy Awards and won two, and currently, airs in more than 200 countries.
Sig Hansen is a third-generation fisherman descended from a long line of Norwegian-ancestry fishermen and the Captain of one of the most successful vessels featured on the show. He’s been featured in every season of The Deadliest Catch and also serves as a technical advisor for the show.
In the later seasons, one of Sig’s daughters, Mandy, joined the crew as a deckhand and fans just couldn’t get enough of her. Suddenly there was a woman in the usually male dominated environment and she was gorgeous too. Here’s what you need to know about this tough as nails hottie…
20. Clark Joins The Hansen Family
Fans of the show have seen plenty of action over the past few years, there has been plenty of drama, and even a death, but nothing quite compared to the suspense as the film crew captured young deckhand Clark Pederson asking the Captain for his daughter’s hand in marriage. After he hesitantly agreed and the crew returned from another successful fishing season Clark popped the question to his dream girl who of course, said yes. Discovery Channel announced the news – with this photo – via Twitter a few hours later. The couple didn’t seem to waste any time getting everything organized for their union and tied the knot just a few months ago. It’s been a busy year for Sig with one daughter getting married and another making him a grandfather!
19. Gritty And Beautiful
We can’t help but feel just a little bit jealous of young Mandy Hansen because by the looks of things she certainly appears to have everything going for her. She’s got a loving and supportive family headed by a strong-willed and successful father – and it doesn’t hurt that he’s a celebrity crab boat captain either! She’s just enjoyed a lavish wedding and settled down into married life with a man who seems to be every bit as driven as she is. And let’s face it – the 21-year old is stunning too. But what’s really impressive about her is her determination and tenacity. This is a lady who isn’t afraid to take on the tough challenges in life and that’s something we can all aspire to.
18. Her New Husband
Clark Pederson may be new to the world of fishing – he’s only just joined the crew of the Northwestern – but he has some impressive credentials for a man of his age. According to his bio on the Discovery TV website, he is a graduate of Washington State University as well as the California Maritime Academy. He has already attained his Third Mate Unlimited License and is now completing his education with real-world experience. And where better to gain that experience than on the Northwestern – where the money and cameras are too! Clark has big dreams and plans to become a captain one day and hopes to join the Columbia River Pilots. We’re sure Sig checked him out extensively before allowing him to marry his daughter so we think Mandy is in safe hands.
17. Getting Initiated On The Northwestern
Although a show like The Deadliest Catch may sound boring (does anyone really want to watch people fish for crabs?) it’s the people, and the way they interact with each other, that make the program interesting. The crews never seem to have it easy – between rough seas, injuries, and breakdowns (both mechanical and psychological) which makes the fact that Mandy did it that much more impressive. Often new greenhorns don’t last very long because they quickly find out that the job was far more difficult than they thought it would be.
Many of the boats have a type of initiation for their new hires and the Northwestern is no different. They expect new greenhorns to eat a raw fish before they can officially join the crew and Sig made Mandy do this too. And to everyone’s surprise, she managed to get it all down!
16. Her Plans For The Future
In season 10 of The Deadliest Catch, Mandy joined the crew of the Northwestern, not for the first time (she has been riding along with her dad since she was a child) but it was the first time that she actually actively worked to help bring in the crab. The crew didn’t have very high hopes for the small girl, but she surprised everyone with her tenacity as a greenhorn and completed the journey – something many strapping muscle-bound young men were not able to do. According to her dad, Mandy is obsessed with the sea and has aspirations of becoming a freighter or ocean liner Captain. And if her resolve during this season is anything to go by, then Mandy will certainly achieve her dreams.
15. It’s Not All Smiles Behind The Scenes
It’s all smiles for the camera in this picture of Mandy, Sig, and her mom, June Hansen but behind the scenes, things haven’t been so easy for the family. Not only did Sig recently suffer from a heart attack, but he’s also been embroiled in another, closer to home, scandal, involving his estranged biological daughter Melissa Eckstrom. Sig divorced his first wife, Melissa’s mom in the early nineties, and recently Melissa laid criminal charges against him, alleging that he had touched her inappropriately when she was a toddler. Sig has dismissed these claims as fictitious – stating that it is nothing more than an “old fashioned shakedown” and so far the Discovery Channel and the courts have been supportive of him.
14. Mandy Is Adopted
While Mandy may look like the spitting image of her dad (and they do look alike don’t they?) she’s actually not his biological daughter. When Sig married Mandy’s mom, she was still very young and being the responsible man that he is, he decided to adopt Mandy and her elder sister Nina. But she is just like Sig in other ways too, especially when it comes to her personality. This is what Discovery Channel’s executive producer, David Pritikin had to say about her: “ She is Sig: She has Sig’s drive, Sig’s attitude. She said once that she has a lot of pressure in her life that her father doesn’t realize: She’s isn’t a Hansen until she goes fishing. This is something she has to do. This is something she’s always wanted to do. And this is not prompted by the show. This is Mandy taking a rite of passage into her life.”
13. How Old Is Mandy Hansen?
Okay, so the question on everyone’s mind is “How old is Mandy?” Well, she has just turned 21 which means she joined the Northwestern as a greenhorn when she was just 18 years old – fresh from her high school graduation. Here she is dressed in her graduation garb, taking a selfie. Is it just us or does she not seem to be as thrilled as we would expect her to be? Maybe book learning is just not that exciting for her adventurous spirit? Perhaps she prefers learning “on the job”, just like her dad did? We know this for sure – she is definitely not an air-head. She’s looking to further her education and is taking on roles that were once just reserved for men, so she’s something special.
12. Big Crab = Big Money
As is often the case with life – big risk equals (potentially) big rewards and the same can be said about crab fishing. The conditions and working environment might be tough – and very dangerous – but if a crab fisherman can pull through he’s going to be smiling all the way to the bank. According to a report by CNN, the crew members of boats like the Northwestern can earn between $20,000 to $50,000 during the three-month king crab season. And it doesn’t end there –according to their report, if the fishermen also work during the Dungeness and snow crab seasons, they can boost their annual income up to more than $100,000 per year. So it’s easy to see why men (and women!) still take on this deadly job – the rewards are worthwhile.
11. How Mandy Feels About Being On TV
So what’s scarier than rogue waves on the icy Bering Sea? The idea of being on television, of course! At least, that is how Mandy Hansen felt about it. This is what she had to say about appearing on television, “It’s so scary. I don’t know what they’re actually going to show on TV. I wanted to go fishing. That was it. I didn’t realize it was going to be such a big deal, and I’d actually be in the public eye. That’s terrifying for me. But I’m starting to wrap my head around it. I want it to succeed. I want to be a part of it. I don’t want to sit back and just watch it. I want to be on deck with the guys. … I don’t want to work at a random company and just have to try to make someone else’s business grow. It’s pride.”
10. Salty Sea Fever
According to her dad, Mandy caught the salty “sea fever” from him when she was a small child and has been spending summers with the crew since her early teens. She’s been involved mostly in salmon fishing and when she first approached her dad and asked him if she could give crabbing a go he was hesitant at first. And of course, what father wouldn’t be? It isn’t as though it’s an easy job – it’s extremely dangerous and no father would want his child to be in danger. But Mandy was insistent and Sig knew that if he said no she would probably find another boat to work on, so he eventually agreed. Being the only woman abroad – and doing what is generally regarded as a “man’s job” couldn’t have been easy but Mandy took it in her stride.
9. When Your Dad Becomes Your Boss
It couldn’t have been easy for Mandy to go fishing with her dad, especially not as a greenhorn. There must have been a certain amount of inner conflict on her part because the Captain, her boss, is also her dad. And of course, she was aware the whole time that she was watched by the show’s young female audience who were all counting on her to make it work. Not many greenhorns would be afforded the privilege of going up into the wheelhouse to talk to the Captain, but obviously, things were a little different in her case. She said, “I wasn’t too worried about anyone else. I was just worried about my family and my crew, and proving myself to them … and being able to keep up on the pods. I didn’t want to be in their way either.”
8. Part Of The Crew
When Sig first told the crew that Mandy would be joining them for the crabbing season as a greenhorn you could tell that they were taken aback. A few of them commented that it was not a decision that they would ever make – adding that they didn’t think the crab boat was a place for a young woman. They told the film crew that Sig gave them strict instructions about how to treat her, and gave them permission to give her a hard time (just like they would with any other greenhorn) but to make sure that she didn’t get hurt. He later said that he was worried about her during the trip and when you see the types of accidents that happen on the boats you can’t blame him.
7. Big Aspirations
When Mandy first approached her dad about working aboard the crabbing boat he was not thrilled at the idea because after two decades on the Bering sea he knows just how dangerous it can be. Although his ship has an outstanding safety record, he knows that accidents can and do happen. So he tried to discourage her, but she is a strong-willed young lady (wonder where she learned that from) and pushed until she eventually got her way. She is now working toward getting a Third Mates Unlimited license from a maritime academy, which would be a more impressive qualification than her dad has! He told Yahoo TV, “I don’t have a license that big, you see? So that makes me proud. She’ll have a bigger license than Daddy; who’d have thought?”
6. Who Is Mandy?
According to Mandy’s profile on The Discovery Channel’s website, Mandy takes after her father in more than just a few ways. They describe her as being charismatic (and you have to admit she does know how to win people over – maybe even better than her dad!), headstrong (we know where she gets that from) and hard working. We strongly agree with this last one. It takes a very special kind of woman to delve into the testosterone fuelled world of crab fishing – and make it to the end of the season. And although she had a lot to prove (both to her father and viewers at home) Mandy kept going even when things got tough. And as the website says she took on a job that has made 40-year-old muscle bound men cry – so we respect her for that.
5. Surviving The Bering Sea
Mandy may have survived her first trip as a greenhorn, but not everyone is so lucky. The show is called The Deadliest Catch for a good reason, because there is a high risk of injury and even death associated with the work. That’s why the men who are able to do it get the big bucks for their efforts. Commercial fishing, like the kind the crews do on the show has been considered one of the most dangerous jobs in American for some time and has a fatality rate that’s almost 75% higher than the death rate for flight engineers, loggers, and pilots (which are the next “deadliest jobs behind commercial fishing). But while all fishing operations are inherently dangerous, fishing for Alaskan king crab is the most dangerous due to the conditions on the Bering Sea.
4. Water Baby
Sig says that Mandy just loves the water, and with a crab boat Captain dad around it’s not hard to see why. He said, “She’s always been in love with the water. She just wants to be outdoors; she’s the adventurous type. As far as being able to go fishing or whatever she can do, she wants to be a part of that. The kid just wants to be on the water. Anything she can do to be on the water I think is in her future. And that’s great. I told her you don’t have to be a crab fisherman to be on the water.” It’s great to see that his tenacity has rubbed off on her in such a positive way and that he is supportive of her decisions but that he also wants her to explore new horizons. The girl will go far with a dad like Sig leading the way.
3. Getting Started
Mandy has been going out with her dad on the crab boat since she was a young girl and was just 18 years old when she completed her first season (and walked away with a handsome paycheck for her efforts). This may seem very young to take on such an endeavor, but her dad Sig also started his fishing career at a young age. He began fishing and working on his family’s boat when he was just 14 years old and he confessed that he often skipped school to go fishing instead. But his work ethic paid off and by the age of 22, after a few years working himself up the ranks, Sig was made a “relief skipper” and just two short years later he became the captain of the Northwestern.
2. Nothing To Laugh About
Mandy is a good natured young girl and like her dad, she obviously has a sense of humor. But we’re sure no one in the family was laughing when TMZ reported earlier this month that the Captain of the Northwestern had been arrested for allegedly assaulting an Uber driver by – wait for it – spitting on him. According to the unlucky driver, Waheed Lawal, Sig became enraged when he refused to accept cash for the trip (because it is against Uber’s policies) and lost his temper, spitting on the back of the driver’s head and then getting out and kicking his car. And he wasn’t alone either – his new son-in-law Clark Pederson was with him. Sig was arrested shortly afterward and the criminal case is now pending. Lawal has also filed a lawsuit for assault and battery.
1. A Wedding And A New Baby – All In One Year
2017 has certainly been an eventful year for Sig. The latest season of The Deadliest Catch aired (where Clark asked him for permission to marry Mandy), Mandy and Clark got married in a lavish wedding, and then just a few days later he became a grandfather! His eldest daughter Nina announced that she was pregnant with his first grandchild in the show’s latest season and gave birth to Jaxsen on the 18th of June this year. Sig looked overjoyed in the pictures that he posted on social media holding the adorable fifth-generation Hansen. He captioned them, “Finally a proud grandpa! Our oldest daughter Nina had baby Jaxsen on father’s day June 18th, after 24-hour labor! Welcome as the first, 5th generation Hansen fisherman!”
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