The sprained ankle that saved popular Deadliest Catch captain's life

'Deadliest Catch': The Accident That Saved Sig Hansen's Life

Longtime 'Deadliest Catch' captain Sig Hansen recalls returning from sea as a kid just before the holidays. Instead of going home like everyone else, he headed west and got a job on a different boat fishing for deep water brown crab.

As he jumped over the rail to board the boat, he sprained his ankle.

Hansen recalls the captain of that boat looking at his swollen ankle saying, "Bad luck! What are you going to do?" He tried to convince the captain that it would get better, but the captain sent him away. Hansen flew home and the boat went out fishing without him.

That boat disappeared. No one ever saw it again. "Basically, a sprained ankle saved my life," the captain explains. "There's a lot of things cameras don't catch."

Hansen admits that he's more fearful heading out to sea with each year that passes. "Bad things can happen if you're not careful and I don't want to be a part of it. So, we'll see how long I can do this. I get more afraid every year, I really do."

New episodes of 'Deadliest Catch' air Tuesdays at 9/8c on Discovery Channel.

Deadliest catch captain ankle
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The sprained ankle that saved popular Deadliest Catch captain's life
LIVE WITH KELLY AND MICHAEL -7/4/13 - Kelly celebrates her win after going head-to-head with Michael in a race to get geared up in their Deadliest Catch emergency suits, with Captains Sig Hansen (left) and Keith Colburn (second from left) on 'LIVE with Kelly and Michael,' distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. (Photo by David Steele/Disney-ABC via Getty Images) SIG HANSEN, KEITH COLBURN, KELLY RIPA, MICHAEL STRAHAN
CONCORD, NC - MAY 24: Sig Hansen, Captain of the Northwestern crab-catcher vessel, a boat featured on the Discovery Channel show 'Deadliest Catch', looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 on May 24, 2007 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Sig Hansen & Edgar Hansen -- Air Date 04/07/08 -- Episode 3530 -- Pictured: (l-r) Edgar Hansen and Sig Hansen of 'Deadliest Catch' during an interview with host Jay Leno on April 7, 2008 (Photo by Margaret Norton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE - Show #150 - Sig Hansen (Cpt. of the Northwestern) and Keith Colburn (Cpt. of The Wizard), both of Discovery Channel's 'Deadliest Catch' play for Seattle Children's Hospital on WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE, airing Friday, April 26 across the country and distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) KEITH COLBURN, SIG HANSEN

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