'Deadliest Catch' captain Sig Hansen tears up while discussing deceased friend's legacy

·Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

Captain Sig Hansen had his boat, Northwestern, reevaluated during Deadliest Catch Tuesday night. Following the tragic loss of close friend Jeff Hathaway and the fishing vessel F/V Destination, Hansen has been promoting safety among the fishing community.

The F/V Destination sank in February 2017, resulting in the death of six crew members. The Coast Guard investigation found that the 98-foot vessel capsized because of inaccurate pot weights and pots icing over.

While preparing for the upcoming crab season, Hansen decided to have a naval architect perform a stability test on his boat in hopes of avoiding a similar fate. The Northwest has an almost identical house-forward design as the F/V Destination.

“You know, when I think about the Destination ... It makes you think — if it could happen to them, can it happen to me?” he mused.

The test revealed that the Northwestern had a maximum load capacity of 165 pots, five fewer than the 170 Hansen had been using. “That's a number I can live with,” said Hansen. “At least I know that my crew, my family, my boat is safe.”

Hansen is encouraging all the boats in the community to re-evaluate their boats so that tragedies like the F/V Destination don’t happen again. And while the sinking is a painful memory for him, he believes the awareness it has garnered will save lives for years to come.

“I think he didn't die in vain,” said Hansen of Hathaway while holding back tears. “They didn't die in vain.”

Deadliest Catch airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Discovery.

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