Movie Reviews

Deadliest Catch: Norman Hansen's Life-Threatening Injury & Seizure Explained


  • The injury Norman Hansen sustained in 2020 on
    Deadliest Catch
    was real, underscoring the show’s extreme risks and harsh conditions.
  • Norman Hansen’s near-fatal accident in season 15, episode 7 was a stark reminder of the constant danger these fishermen face.
  • Despite his scary injury, Norman Hansen overcame it, returning to
    Deadliest Catch
    after a brief hiatus with renewed vigor and dedication.

Deadliest Catch has captivated audiences since its debut in 2005, showcasing the perilous lives of crab fishermen braving the treacherous Bering Sea, and there’s no better example of that than Norman Hansen’s season 15 injury. Among the many brave souls featured on the show, many perished at young ages, as Deadliest Catch’s Mahlon Reyes died at 38 years old, and Nick McGlashan died at the age of 33. Norman Hansen has stood out, not just for his fishing skills but for his close connection to one of the series’ mainstays, Captain Sig Hansen.

Norman Hansen first appeared on the show in season 4 as a deckhand on the Northwestern, a vessel commanded by his brother Sig Hansen. Over the years, Norman Hansen has become a familiar face to fans, known for his dedication and resilience amidst the harsh conditions of crab fishing. The series is renowned for highlighting the extreme risks these fishermen face, and Norman’s tenure on the show has been no exception. While Deadliest Catch is one of Discovery Channel’s fakest shows, the harrowing life-threatening injury Norman Hansen sustained in 2020 was very much real.

Norman Hansen’s Notable Deadliest Catch Episodes


Episode Title

Episode Number

Air Date



“The Finish Line”


April 18, 2006

First appearance


“Winter is Here”


May 14, 2019

Sustained head injury and seizure


“Cold War Rivals”


April 14, 2020

Returned to show post-recovery


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Norman Hansen Hit His Head On Deadliest Catch, Which Led To A Seizure

The Injury Halted The Northwestern’s Operations

The perilous nature of Deadliest Catch was starkly highlighted in season 15, episode 7, “Winter is Here.” During the episode, fans witnessed a terrifying moment when Norman Hansen, while docked, slipped and struck his head, leading to a severe injury. Unlike many of the show’s dramatic moments at sea, this incident occurred while the Northwestern was safely in port, underscoring the constant danger these fishermen face.

The episode captured the immediate aftermath of the fall. As Norman lay unconscious on the deck, his brother Sig Hansen rushed to his side, displaying a mix of fear and urgency. The gravity of the situation became evident when Norman began seizing, his skin turning blue (via Distractify). This alarming development was a stark reminder of the risks involved in their line of work, even when the boat is docked.

The crew’s reaction to Norman Hanesn’s condition was a mix of shock and swift action. Another deckhand, who had witnessed the incident, provided critical information about the seizure, enabling the team to respond effectively. The show’s depiction of this incident added a layer of raw reality, deeply affecting both the crew and viewers. Norman’s injury temporarily halted the Northwestern’s operations, emphasizing the significant impact such events have on the crew’s morale and productivity. Sig Hansen, despite his deep concern, had to balance his brother’s medical emergency with the pressures of their fishing quota.


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Norman Hansen Continues To Appear On Deadliest Catch

Hansen Returned In Deadliest Catch Season 17 After A Short Hiatus

The cast of Deadliest Catch outside

Fortunately, medical professionals determined that Norman had not sustained any brain injury. Despite the severity of his injury, Norman Hansen’s resolve saw him returning to Deadliest Catch after a brief hiatus. His recovery was closely monitored, and the support from both his family and medical team played a crucial role in his swift return to the deck. Norman took necessary precautions, ensuring he was fully fit before rejoining the Northwestern crew, demonstrating his resilience and dedication.

His experience has undoubtedly added to his cautious approach, but it hasn’t dampened his enthusiasm for the demanding work.

Norman’s time off allowed him to recuperate fully, avoiding any long-term complications. He returned to the show with renewed vigor, continuing to contribute significantly to the Northwestern’s operations. His comeback was met with relief and joy from his fellow crew members and fans alike, who had been anxiously following his recovery journey. In the seasons following his injury, Norman has continued to be a stalwart presence on Deadliest Catch. His experience has undoubtedly added to his cautious approach, but it hasn’t dampened his enthusiasm for the demanding work.

Source: Distractify

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