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Deadliest Catch captain died in one of 'worst accidents in crabbing industry'

As Deadliest Catch airs in 2023 with returning cast members including Sig Hansen, many fans of the show remember Captain Jeff Hathaway who passed away in a tragic accident at sea. The Deadliest Catch captain was close friends with Sig. Viewers saw the moment that Sig heard of Jeff’s passing and was brought to tears.

Alaskan crab fishing is renowned for being perilous. The crews head out onto their boats and into the Bering Sea each season in a bid to earn an income. Since 2005, Discovery has been following the Hansens and more crabbing boat captains as they make their living in treacherous conditions. For the cast of the show and their families, there are often serious injuries and heartbreaking losses to endure.

Credit: Discovery YouTube channel

Deadliest Catch’s Jeff Hathaway

Captain Jeff Hathaway tragically lost his life aboard the F/V Destination in 2017.

He appeared on the Discovery Channel show alongside his crew including Kai Hamik, Darri Seibold, Raymond Vincler, Larry O’Grady, and Charles G Jones.

Jeff was a veteran captain who had served on his boat for 23 years.

The Seattle Times reported in 2019 that his memorial tribute describes Jeff as: “The best Sea Captain/Crab Fisherman -ever who respected and loved his crew.”

Boat ‘vanished’ in Deadliest Catch accident

On February 10, 2017, the F/V Destination was heading across the Bering Sea.

However, as the boat headed further north, it tragically vanished at sea.

A search was held for “more than three days,” as detailed on Disasters At Sea.

Former crew members of the boat were interviewed on the TV show.

Patric Gaffney said: “Standing next to the phone waiting for the coast guard to call you for any update, it’s unbearable.”

Dylan Hatfield said that he was “hoping and praying that they find a life raft…”

A rescue team searched for the six crew members, however, Captain Jeff and his crew were all presumed to have lost their lives at sea on February 15.

The Destination’s disappearance was described as “The worst accident in the Alaska crabbing industry in more than a decade,” on Disasters At Sea.

Sig Hansen gets call about F/V Destination

During Deadliest Catch, viewers have witnessed many tragic moments that the cast has endured.

Following the tragic fate of the Destination crew, Sig received the devastating news over the phone.

He broke down in tears after hearing that debris was found “indicative of a crab boat going down.”

Casey McManus said to Sig: “I know you and Jeff were tight so I wanted to let you know…”

Jeff left behind his wife, Sue, and daughter, Hannah. His daughter’s Facebook cover photo shows herself aboard a boat with her late father.


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