Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Hansen's Fight


Who is Eric Hansen?


A Bering Sea Crab Fisherman - A Highliner

At the tender age of 14, Eric Hansen, called "Hansen" by his friends, was left in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, by his dad. He got a job on a boat, learned the trade, and then taught others.

Hansen became a "highliner." Now highliner is not a term I ever remember hearing on Deadliest Catch. I discovered what this term meant when I read a book called Lessons From the Seaby Steven R. Smith.

Here are a couple of quotes from Steven's book.
  • "Highliners will often work 80 hours straight without a nap. Highliners never fish for money but rather for the competition and the chance to be number one."
  • "Highliners are a different breed; they don't demand respect...they get it. They get the best crews, best equipment and will stop at nothing to be number one."
  • "Commercial fishermen look at the money and hope to hit the jackpot and get rich."
If you haven't read this book, you really should grab a copy.

I don't know if highliners even exist anymore. They may have gone away with the days of derby fishing. It seems like without the competition of the derby, how could there be highliners? I'll have to find out the answer to that. I miss the derby days.

Now it's whoever has the most quota wins. You pretty much know who wins before they leave the dock. It doesn't matter who has the best crew, or who knows where the "good" spots are. If a boat has a low quota, they aren't going to get that number one spot no matter how hard they work, or how many hours of sleep they go without, it doesn't matter. It's all about the quota.

I have talked to several highliners over the years. You won't hear them toot their own horn. They didn't have to people knew who they were. They still don't. It's kind of odd really, the not bragging.


Now, if you're an interrogator like I tend to be, I'm a curious cat, you can get out of them that they were highliners, and you get these awesome highliners to tell you some pretty cool stories. 

Hansen helped one buddy, David Lethin, to build his first crab boat. You may know of David or Dave from the Bering Sea Crab Fisherman's Tour in Ketchikan. Hansen then taught him to fish for King Crab, trained others and they became the number one boat-highliners.

Some of the men you have seen on Deadliest Catch were taught to fish by Hansen.

Eric has saved many lives at sea, and he has lost many friends over the years to the sea.

Hansen left Alaska in 1993. Soon thereafter, he got married, started a new career, and a new adventure.

Hansen worked on the F/V Ocean Ballad, F/V Lady Kodiak, F/V Nordic Monarch, and the F/V Aleutian Ballad just to name a few. Between seasons, he sometimes worked at Pacific Seafood.

In 2011 or 2012, Hansen started having episodes of blurred vision and scrambled speech. His wife Treasa thought he was having a stroke and took him to the doctors. They gave him a clean bill of health and said he was probably having migraines. Go doctors! Not...

You can find the rest of Hansen's medical story on his GoFundMe page. Please visit it, donate if you can. GoFundMe has a minimum donation of $5. If everyone who visits the page could give $5, we could meet our goal in no time. The cost of this ugly battle will be one less thing for the Hansen's to worry about. If you can't donate, please share the page everywhere, and say lots of prayers. We'll take all the help we can get.

Hansen has a hell of a fight on his hands, and he's up for the challenge. He's a highliner after all. They don't quit.

I just love this video! This is Hansen in 2013 before he found out he had a golf ball sized tumor in his head. I'm also a Jerry Reed fan!



Let's Help Hansen Fight!
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