Captain Sig Hansen of 'Deadliest Catch' opens up about friend lost at sea

George Back
Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

Deadliest Catch captain Sig Hansen opened up about the sinking of the crabbing vessel Destination. The ship was captained by one of Hansen’s best friends, Jeff Hathaway.

When Hansen heard the news he said it was like “being punched in the gut.” He had known Hathaway for a long time and considered him one of the best fishermen in the fleet.

“He knew the boat better than anybody,” Hansen said. “He was my mentor, and you don’t think that that’s gonna happen to a guy that you’ve learned so much from. You know, that’s the guy that didn’t make mistakes, in my mind.”

After an extensive search by the Coast Guard, the boat and crew were considered lost at sea. No one is sure how the vessel sank, but the accepted theory is that the boat got icy and rolled over in rough seas before anyone could issue a distress signal.

The lack of certainty haunts Hansen, who said, “Even if a boat’s icing down a little bit, she’s gonna list and you’re gonna know it. And you’re gonna deal with it. And so you do have time. But for something to just disappear like that — that’s the one that bugs me.”

A research vessel later found a boat on the bottom of the seafloor in the area Destination was believed to have sunk.

Deadliest Catch airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Discovery.

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