The 17th season of Discovery's hit Deadliest Catch recently premiered, and in addition to the many dangers of crab fishing on the Bering Sea, this season sees the crews dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the show's biggest stars, and the show's technical consultant -- F/V Northwestern Captain Sig Hansen -- says at the height of the pandemic, he and the crews felt "blessed," because their work was deemed essential.
"I've had friends that are on other fishing vessels...that literally did not leave their boats for eight to nine months, they could not step on land," he explained to ABC Audio via phone.
"The state of Alaska, we went through our own COVID regulations. You've got federal, state, and then every [harbor] has its own set of regulations as well. So, quite honestly, we were so fortunate to be able to go out there and go to work, you know."
Hansen explains how it's still amazing to see how people follow the show after so many seasons. "It's been this snowball. I can't tell you how many times I've heard families come up to me... 'My grandson watches Deadliest Catch or my granddaughter or my mother or my father.' It's just a generational thing where I think families watch it together."
Sig adds, "And I still think that's a good thing, even though this is a dangerous factor in Deadliest Catch, you've got that work ethic all the guys have up there. I just think...that's important for people to see."
After fishing his whole life as his father did, the captain, best-selling author, and entrepreneur says he's got no plans to quit his "day job."
"Yeah, it's an addiction, it's in your blood."
Deadliest Catch airs tonight at 8 p.m. on Discovery.