If you go
What: A night with Captain Sig and the Hillstrand brothers from “Deadliest Catch”
When: 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 22
Where: Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, 8099 College Parkway, Fort Myers
Admission: $29 to $39
Information: www.bbmannpah.com or (239) 481-4849
Life as a crew member on Discovery channel TV show “Deadliest Catch” includes carpal tunnel syndrome from heavy lifting, sea sickness and a fatality rate nearly 90 times of the average worker.
You’ll get to hear all the harrowing details, from the hard labor and early hours to the pranks the fishermen play on each other as three of the show’s captains take the stage at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall on their Captain’s Tour on Wednesday, June 22, at 7:30 p.m.
Brothers John and Andy Hillstrand, co-captains of Time Bandit, and Northwestern captain Sig Hansen will swap stories as they take the audience through the struggles of living life on the high seas. The show includes never-before-seen video of the crew, a question and answer session with the captains and interactive games including one called the survival suit test.
The survival suit is a special type of waterproof dry suit that protects the wearer from hypothermia from immersion in cold water. It’s used after abandoning a sinking or capsized vessel, especially in the open ocean. To board the ship you must be able to put the suit on in less than 60 seconds.
“It’s mainly just a way to humiliate the people in the audience,” joked Andy Hillstrand. He went on to explain how he’s rarely ever seen a first timer come close to breaking the time limit.
The captains will be re-telling some of the pranks they pulled while out at sea. When Andy was asked what was the best prank you’ve pulled on another ship, he broke out in laughter and answered, “We took Phil’s crab pot and put a pickup truck on the end of his line.”
When John Hillstrand was asked what was the best prank that’s been pulled on him and his brother, he said: “Sig dumped a whole bunch of blue dye in our water supply. So me and Andy woke and took a shower, and came out looking like a couple of Smurfs.”
He went on to say that prank, along with many others, were not shown on “Deadliest Catch.” They plan to show these never-before-seen pranks at the show.
But its not all fun and games while sailing the Bering Sea. Alaskan crab fishing is one of the most dangerous professions, and the job hazards include everything from injuries to intense sea sickness.
“Guys get sick all the time, especially the camera crew,” said Andy. “You can usually tell after three days who needs to get air lifted off the boat. Even John gets sick, but it’s always only once a season.”
When Hansen was asked what kind of injuries he has acquired while captaining the Northwestern he said, “I’ve gotten lucky, nothing too serious. But I’ve had guys crack their heads open and bust teeth.”
The Hillstrand brothers also attested to seeing crew members lose fingers or knock their knee completely out of its socket.
Not only will the captains be answering your questions of the dangers of the open water, Andy Hillstrand will be performing songs he’s written about his times at sea. One of the songs he will preform is “Ode to Phil,” a song dedicated to deceased captain of the Cornelia Marie Phil Harris.