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Deadliest Catch's Sig Hansen Explains Had To Overcome This Problematic Fishing Superstition

The fishermen of "Deadliest Catch" run a tight ship. In their line of work, they have to. As the title of the series suggests, one slip-up or a lack of preparedness can turn deadly in the icy waters of the Bering Sea. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the fatality rate among commercial fishermen is 29 times higher than the national average. Those numbers shouldn't be too surprising to devoted "Deadliest Catch" fans who have seen 700-pound crab pots careen out of control or watched a fishing vessel be threatened by a wild storm.

Still, "Deadliest Catch" wouldn't have persisted for 18 seasons and counting if it was an entirely solemn affair. The seasoned mariners are committed to the more lighthearted traditions of life at sea, whether it's razzing the greenhorns, good old-fashioned boat racing, or time-honored old wives' tales. Here's one poorly-aged superstition that Sig Hansen had to overcome himself.

Sig Hansen came to reject the superstition about women on fishing boats

Like baseball and the theater, fishing is an old enough enterprise to have formed its fair share of superstitions over the years. It is, for example, bad luck to bring a banana aboard a ship, as is saying "good luck" to a fisherman (via FishingBooker). One superstition that's aged poorly is the belief that it's bad luck to have a woman aboard a fishing boat.

Captain Sig Hansen, who many fans have voted the best captain on "Deadliest Catch," has made an effort to reject the destructive superstition. He has hired women to work on his boat and primed his daughter, Mandy, to take over as captain. "As you get on, you see that these are just old superstitious things of the past that have no meaning," Hansen told Idaho Press. "I can see what Mandy has done over time."

Still, Hansen admits that it took time for him to overcome the stereotypes instilled in him by his grandfather. "If you were talking to Sig Hansen of 30 years ago, I hate to say it, but there'd be a different mentality," he confessed. Watching his daughter and female colleagues, however, changed things for the captain. "I honestly believe that anybody with the heart and desire to go out and work, whether it's crab fishing or any fishing, should be able to do that if that opportunity is there," Hansen said. "I see things differently now."