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Deadliest Catch's Sig Hansen Often Feels Guilty Sitting In The Heated Wheelhouse

Whether you've been riding along with the brave captains and crew of Discovery's "Deadliest Catch" since it's 2005 start, or a newcomer to the series, it's been made pretty clear that there is no safe spot on a boat when fishing on the Bering Sea. It doesn't matter if you're standing on the deck, pulling in pots of crab, or hiding in the engine room, if the vessel capsizes, it's taking every person on board with it. With that being said, there may not be a safe spot on the boat, but they surely are some that stand out as more  comfortable than others.

If the deck, with swinging 700-pound pots and crashing waves, is the most uncomfortable spot, then the Wheelhouse is the exact opposite. Not counting the beds in the sleeping quarters, the captains of these vessels get to personally enjoy the coziest location on board. For those who don't know, the Wheelhouse is a raised space that looks out above the rest of the boat, and most importantly, is where the captain sits. With a birds-eye view and all the necessary equipment at arms-reach, each captain works from the Wheelhouse to not only meet the crab quota, but keep the crew safe.

And although this station is present on every single boat featured in the series, as well as being essential for any successful crabbing trip, some captains may feel a bit of comfort guilt. That goes for Sig Hansen, captain of the Northwestern, who can't help but link this extra comfort to the emotional connection he has for his crew.

Sig Hansen must watch his crew freeze, while enjoying some heat

When it comes to the most tolerable location found on each of the boats that battle the elements of the Bering Sea, the Wheelhouse is the place to be. During a video tour given by Jake Anderson, the young captain points out the high-quality chair he gets to sit in. "These chairs are really expensive...these chairs where I sit, they're fantastic," he proudly points out. In addition to great chairs, captain Sig Hansen addresses one comfort-detail the Wheelhouse provides, that he feels guilty about. Simply put, it's heat.

Since each Wheelhouse of these fishing boats is sealed, they are also well-heated. In an interview with Discovery UK, Hansen says, "Being captain, I do get to work in a heated Wheelhouse, so that is kind of nice." Although the heat is like gold when it comes to fishing off the coast of Alaska, a captain that has so much focus on his crew's well-being, may find this comfort not so easy to accept. "I feel guilty because the guys are in forty-below temperatures," he admits. However, a quick look back at the work he's put in to be able to sit in that quality chair, erases these feelings fairly quickly. "I earned it, I'm there," Hansen says. 

As comfortable as the Wheelhouse is, it's still no protection from possible catastrophic mishaps. In an interview with Discovery, Captain Gary Ripka described taking a forty-foot wave break head-on. Not only did the impact blow all the windows out, but the veteran captain says he got washed out of the Wheelhouse altogether. Possible moments like these is exactly why there is not one spot on these crab boats that can be considered truly comfortable.