Sig Hansen, whose father was one of the original crab fishermen of Dutch Harbor, has been a captain since the age of 22. A fourth-generation Norwegian fisherman, Sig Hansen is very superstitious, but always brings back a big catch. Sig Hansen and his two brothers Norman and Edgar, (Sig is the eldest) not only work on the Northwestern, they own it. Living proof that blood is thicker than water, this three-brother crew has fished together for almost 20 years. Sig Hansen revels in the strategy and competition of fishing.
Age: 44 years old
Birthday: April 28, 1966
Height: 5' 8"
Full Name / Real Name: Sigurd J.Hansen
Birthplace: Seattle, WA
Hometown: Shoreline, WA
Wife: June (Pronounced 'Yoo-nah')
Phil Harris takes on many roles on the boat, from captain, to co-owner of the Cornelia Marie, to Dad. In 2008, Phil Harris's sons Jake and Josh joined him aboard the Cornelia Marie. Phil Harris is an easy-going, likable captain and feels a tight bond with his long time crew.
Captain Phil Harris got his sea legs while working on fishing boats beginning at the tender age of seven. Ten years later he started crabbing on the F/V American Eagle. When Phil Harris turned 21, he ran a boat, the F/V Golden Viking, out of Seattle, making him one of the youngest to captains in the Bering Sea. Phil Harris went on to work on another boat shortly after, but some of his friends stayed on the F/V Golden Viking. It capsized and sank in 1983 near St. Mathew Island, Alaska. Phil Harris lost some very close friends that day and still finds the disaster difficult to talk about.
In 1990 Phil Harris bought into the F/V Cornelia Marie with its namesake, Cornelia Marie and her husband. Cornelia's husband sold his share of the boat, but Phil Harris stayed on as captain, and Cornelia attended to the buisness. The boat is unique; it's the last one operating of only three crabbing boats designed by Elmo Horton, Horton Boats, Inc. out of Bayou La Batre, Alabama. Horton normally built tug and other working boats.
When not at sea, Phil Harris resides in Seattle, Washington
Age: ~52 years old
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Capt. Keith Colburn of Redmond, Washington, has served at the helm of The Wizard for the last 14 years. Keith Colburn took a huge risk in 2005 purchasing The Wizard without any of her valuable crab quota. A World War II-era ship that was converted into a fishing vessel in 1978, The Wizard, a perennial top five producer, is one of the largest vessels in the fleet at 155 feet in length. Being forced to lease his entire crab quota, Keith Colburn struggled in his first year owning The Wizard. This season the stakes are that much higher for Keith Colburn's ship and crew.
Described as having a "militaristic style of leadership," Keith Colburn considers himself to be an overly-prepared and meticulous captain who is more cerebral in his decision-making than most other skippers. Keith Colburn is a first-generation fisherman who grew up in Lake Tahoe, California, and worked in restaurants from the time he was 14 until his early 20s. Keith Colburn decided to try fishing in 1985, at which time he went to Alaska with $50, a backpack and a tent. Now married with two children, Keith Colburn describes the fishing as being the greatest and worst lifestyle in the world. Having taken over a more managerial role for much of the year has allowed Keith Colburn to spend more time with his family, but leaves him missing time out at sea. During the off-season, Keith Colburn travels,
Age: ∼46 years old
Hometown: Lake Tahoe, CA
Current Residence: Redmond, WA
Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand
Johnathan Hillstrand, 46, was also born and raised in Alaska. As Captain of Time Bandit during King Crab season, he runs a tight ship. With the dangers of fishing the Bering Sea, the safety of his crew is his top priority. There is no room for mistakes when John Hillstrand is in the wheelhouse. Although a serious fisherman, John Hillstrand is also known as the practical joker on board Time Bandit. "Flour bombs," teetering buckets of water, and the unexpected detonation of a seal bomb or two are just a few of his favorite pranks!
Like his brothers, John Hillstrand's life at sea began at an early age when their father, John Sr., would take them out on the boat as early as the age of three. They began fishing at the age of seven. John Hillstrand became a full-time fisherman after high school. John Hillstrand has not only been a crab fisherman, but for eight years, he professionally fished for lobster off of the New England coast in Gloucester, Massachusetts. When he's not fishing for crab in the winters, you'll find John Hillstrand fishing for salmon during the summer on board his 38 foot Weggley, F/V Fishing Fever.
Age: ∼47 years old (age stated above was at time of writing)
Full Name / Real Name: Johnathan Hillstrand
Hometown: Seattle, WA and Homer, AL
Andy Hillstrand is a born and bred Alaskan, and a third generation fisherman. The ocean is in his blood. Aboard Time Bandit, Andy Hillstrand is co-captain along with his brother John Hillstrand. During King Crab season, you'll find v on deck sorting and counting crab with the rest of the crew. During Opilio Crab season, you'll find Captain Andy Hillstrand in the wheelhouse hunting for the elusive opies and fighting rogue waves and hull-crushing ice. Known as the Axeman, Andy Hillstrand is the consumate professional fisherman and takes every aspect of crew and boat safety seriously. It should come as no surprise that the Captain can rewire electrical systems, stitch up an injured crewmember, and bring in boat loads of crab!
Andy Hillstrand is a devoted family man. Andy Hillstrand and his wife, Sabrina, have been married 26 years. They have two grown daughters, Chelsey and CassAndra. Andy Hillstrand is also a grandfather—Chelsey and her husband Corbin are proud parents of two little boys Dylan and Kade. Andy Hillstrand's youngest daugher, CassAndra, has just graduated from college with her degree in professional photography.
When he's not fishing, Andy Hillstrand returns home to his 17 acre ranch in Indiana where he and Sabrina own and operate their other business, Hobby Horse Acres. Specializing in Parelli Natural Horsemanship, Andy and Sabrina not only train horses, but teach riding to adults and children. Andy Hillstrand trains Quarter horses through the natural horsemanship or "horse whisperer" technique. Andy Hillstrand was a barrel horse
For recreation, Andy Hillstrand has many interests. When there is time, Andy Hillstrand likes to hunt. In fact, Andy Hillstrand has several of his trophy size moose horns mounted at the ranch. Andy Hillstrand also loves playing drums! Since 7th grade he's played and listened to everything from hard rock to country to golden oldies. Andy Hillstrand likes to indulge in RC (remote control) airplanes and helicopters, and vacations in exotic tropical locations where he is able to dive and snorkel.
Age: ∼45 years old
Hometown: Homer, AK and Chandler, IN