‘Deadliest Catch’ Captain Is Back After Health Issues, Criminal Accusations

'You can't live your life in fear. I'm a fisherman. That's it. It's my boat and I think I have to prove it to myself'

Captain Sig Hansen returned to sea after health trouble and family scandal in Tuesday night’s season premiere of “Deadliest Catch.”

As fans of the Discovery Channel reality show know, Sig suffered a heart attack in February 2016. And in March of this year, “The Seattle Times” reported that Sig was hit with a lawsuit from his grown estranged biological daughter, Melissa Eckstrom, who claimed her father sexually abused her when she was two years old.

But Sig, long divorced from her mom, has vehemently denied Eckstrom’s allegations as a shakedown for money — and the show has stood by its star.

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On the “Deadliest Catch” season-13 debut, Sig’s shocking family controversy wasn’t mentioned. Instead, Sig was shown going back to helm his crab fishing boat, The Northwestern, after recovering from the heart attack that nearly took his life.

While sitting in a car with his wife, June, Sig decided he felt well enough to go back to sea in fall 2016. “It’s scary … but you can’t live your life in fear,” Sig told her. “I’m a fisherman. That’s it. It’s my boat and I think I have to prove it to myself.”

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Suddenly, June surprised him with the news: “You’re gonna be a grandpa.”

Nina, one of June’s two daughters whom Sig adopted, was expecting — and he was moved by the happy news, wiping away tears. “I’ll be a good grandpa, wow!” Sig crowed. “I never got to fish with my grandfather.”

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The premiere episode dealt with how climate change had affected crab fishing. Crab had apparently disappeared from the usual waters, so many of the “Deadliest Catch” captains headed for more far-flung, colder areas.

Captain Keith Colburn said 2016 was “the warmest year on record, the crab didn’t show up.” He was longing for liquor with the new stress, but stuck to his sobriety.

Meanwhile, Captain Johnathan Hillstrand found extensive rust damage to his boat in Seattle.

But perhaps the most stressed fisherman was Captain Jake Anderson of the Saga, who “totally bombed” in fishing last winter and faced pressure from the boat owner to catch crab quicker.

Captain Wild Bill Wichrowski finally bought his own boat after being gun for hire for years and christened it the Summer Bay with the slogan, “attitude makes the difference.” This season, Wild Bill would fish without his son, Zach.

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With the lack of crab, Wild Bill said, “I’m just hoping I can pay my bills.” He vowed to fish where he did last year, warmer weather be damned, but later pulled up barren pots.

Sig agreed to share route information with Jake and the younger fisherman said, “I look up to him like a father.”

Jake traveled into deeper, colder water but came up empty, which disappointed Sig, speaking to him on the radio. “The stress is bad,” said Sig, lighting up a cigarette.

But later, Sig’s men put out the fishing pots and brought up a huge, lucrative haul of crab in the same area Jake had fished earlier.

Sig laughed, “Wow, wow! Oh my God! That’s going to keep my stress level way down.”

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Sig checked Jake’s bait bag from the area and discovered it contained a lot of squid, which attract other fish — NOT crab.

“Every year, we either strike it rich or fall on our faces.”

The veteran captain called Jake and slammed him for using the wrong bait. “You gotta get the basics down,” Sig said. “You screwed up. You do your thing, I’ll do mine.”

Sig told the cameras, “I want Jake to do well, but he has to do it on his own. That’s how you learn.”

When Keith first cast his pots, the situation was disappointing, and the captain worried about warmer temperatures affecting the crab population.

Finally, however, Keith’s crew hit a mother lode of crab after he arrived in deeper and colder water. “Every year, we either strike it rich or fall on our faces,” Keith concluded.

This article originally appeared in Fox News and is used with permission.

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