Last night at the Coast Guard Tribute dinner, Captain Sig Hansen of the crab boat Northwestern and Discovery channel show Deadliest Catch, spoke to the crowd – and he was every bit as entertaining in real life as he is on camera. Here’s how he introduced himself to the room, which was jam-packed with hundreds of coasties including the USCG Commandant himself, Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr.

“Only two things in life really scare me,” Capt. Sig said. “My wife, and the Coast Guard.” The crowd loved it, even before he went on to explain that the thing he finds scary about the Guard is that they might not be there one day, and he recognizes how much fishermen like himself need them around. Sig went on to thank the Guard for everything they do, which was the entire point of the evening. Put on by the Coast Guard Foundation, the dinner raises funds and draws attention to the Foundation’s mission: help the 47,000 members of the Guard by providing scholarships, offer relief for the families who lose their possessions (or worse) in natural disasters, and fund family and recreational facilities. (Go to, to learn more or help support the cause.)

Though he followed an impressive keynote speaker, National Security Advisor James Jones, Capt. Sig stole the show and when the dinner ended, was swarmed by autograph seekers – myself included, since my kids had asked me to get his signature for them. So, is this guy as hard-core a fisher as TV makes him out to be? His signature says it all:

captain sig hansen northwestern

The kids retort: We would, if you'd drive the darn boat over something worth catching!