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The Near-Fatal Accident On Deadliest Catch That Had All Eyes On Mandy Hansen

The Bering Sea is full of danger. Anything can happen to crewmembers on one of the crab boats featured on Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch," but sometimes that danger can come from an unexpected place — your ship's own captain. The Northwestern — captained by fourth-generation fisherman Sig Hansen — is the only boat to have appeared in every season of the show and was even introduced in the pilot episode in 2005. In more recent seasons of the show, Sig has been introducing his daughter Mandy to the captain's seat, and for the most part, things have gone relatively well.

"Yeah, I'm alright with Mandy driving. She's learning from the best. I mean if she was up there solely by herself, I might be a little worried," said Matt, a deckhand on the Northwestern — but what he didn't realize was that as he was saying this, Mandy was in fact alone at the helm. And when something went awry — Mandy didn't know how to handle the situation without the help of her dad.

A rogue hook can be as deadly as a rogue wave

When the deckhands drop a crab pot into the water, the crew tosses a pair of buoys overboard with it to mark where it is in the water and give them a stretch of rope that they can hook when it is time to bring the pot back on board.  But during one of these routine drops — a hook hanging from a crane on the boat accidentally snagged the buoy rope and began to ratchet up the tension on the line as the boat cruised forward and began dragging the pot. The deckhands tried to get Mandy's attention yelling for her to slow down — but her attention was elsewhere.

An alarm flashed in the wheelhouse, and Mandy quickly jumped to attention but wasn't sure what was going on as she would later reveal that she had never seen that specific alarm go off before. She ended up throttling back the boat a bit — but it was too late, and the rope eventually snapped. The tension that was building up let loose with a loud snap as the three-foot metal hook whipped back at the crew still attached to the buoy line that had separated itself from the crab pot. The deckhands took cover as the huge metal hook flew at them with deadly speed — it was over in just a second, but it could have caused some serious damage to the crew or may have even killed someone if they were unlucky.

"Man, that hook almost killed me, it was coming right for me," one deckhand said as they were cleaning up the damage on the deck. Luckily, no one was hurt, and what could have been a deadly situation instead turned into a teachable moment for Mandy as she learns to captain the Northwestern.