For such a long running TV series, it’s admittedly impressive how “Deadliest Catch” has pretty much kept the same main cast for several years, to the point it’s not that far-fetched to say that the audience has taken a strong liking to the Captains and many crew members.

Knowing that viewers are already used to seeing so many familiar faces in “Deadliest Catch”, it’s somewhat expected of them to worry when a ship suddenly stops appearing in the show without much of an explanation, understandably leading to rumors which could go from the silliest to the most serious of speculations.

That the fishing vessel the Saga was nowhere to be seen during the show’s 17th season’s premiere, many people theorized that the ship could have sunk, or facing severe technical problems, but what’s the truth? Keep with us to know what exactly happened to the Saga, where its crew is nowadays, and so much more!

Did The Saga Sink?

The many dangers faced by the fishing crews roaming the Bering Sea’s waters are well known by the audience of “Deadliest Catch”. More often than not, bad weather conditions or unexpected technical problems could ruin an entire season, or even worse, put fishermen in potential life-threatening situations.

Though the Saga is no stranger to these dangers, the vessel’s structural condition is what’s most concerning nowadays. Back during the show’s 16th season, the boat’s evident difficulties in keeping up while on the high seas worried fans that the Saga was due for retirement. Those concerns only became greater when the vessel was nowhere to be seen in the following season’s premiere, leading people to believe that it had sunk.

Fortunately, the Saga made its due comeback in the show’s 17th season’s episode “Restricted Zone”. Though the vessel’s initial disappearance from “Deadliest Catch” wasn’t explained, the Saga definitely let everyone know that its adventurous years aren’t over yet.

What Happened To The Saga In The Previous Season?

The Saga might be alright and in business nowadays, but that doesn’t mean it’s had it easy in recent years. In 2020, the ship had a bad time while on high seas, as extreme weather and unruly waves made the crew’s mission to repair the malfunctioning rudder a difficult one. As if the sight of fishermen jumping out of the Saga to fix its failing parts wasn’t dreadful enough, the danger of capsizing became almost imminent.

Although the Saga’s Captain Jake Anderson successfully led his crew away from disaster, the incident remained as one of the most infamous ones seen in “Deadliest Catch”s 16th season.

Was Johnathan Hillstrand On The Saga?

Every good fan of “Deadliest Catch” knows who the veteran fisherman Johnathan Hillstrand is. As Captain and co-owner of the Time Bandit, Johnathan and his brother Andy Hillstrand were fan favorites for the show’s first 13th seasons.

However, viewers were flabbergasted to see the brothers leave the show in 2017, and to make matters worse, two years later the Time Bandit was put up for sale for $3 million. When any hopes of seeing the Hillstrands again in “Deadliest Catch” seemed almost lost, Johnathan surprisingly re-appeared on board the Saga in 2020.

Although it’s not clear what led him to leave retirement to become co-Captain of a ship not his, Johnathan’s and Jake Anderson’s joint work on the Saga’s boat wheel was a reminder of the good old times.

Moreover, in late 2020, the Time Bandit was taken off the market, and returned to the Bering Sea’s waters in 2021 with Johnathan as Captain again, as “Deadliest Catch” viewers saw in the show’s 17th season.

Was The Saga Remodeled?

Although “Deadliest Catch” has seen the Saga experiencing many issues in recent years, the truth is that it hasn’t been that long since the ship was renovated. As it happens, in 2016 the boat passed from being Captained by Elliott Neese to being put under Jake Anderson’s command.

These changes were followed by a thorough renovation, in an effort to mark a new era for the Saga, which was very important for Jake: ‘I don’t want anything to do with the disease that was left for me after last season’.

Image source

Making evident his chagrin with the former Captain, Jake told Discovery he threw away everything that was on the boat, and used the limited budget he had to completely transform the Saga so it could be ‘identified’ with him. Some of the most important changes were done to the wheelhouse, deck and gearbox, in addition to the rebuilding of the anchor winch.

The renovations weren’t done for the sake of aesthetics, but for functionality and modernisation. New radar monitors, computers, lighting and loudhailer systems, chairs and a lot more were added as well, aiming to give the Saga a well-deserved new face and prolong its usability and security.

Who Owns The Saga?

The ownership of the Saga has been somehow confusing, due to the many changes the ship has been through. While its ownership history isn’t completely clear, it’s known that the Saga has been active since 1988, and was captained by Roger Strong, as seen in the first season of “Deadliest Catch”.

Several years later, Elliott Neese took control of the boat wheel, and took partial ownership of the Saga with Lenny Herzog. However, in 2016 their association came to an end, and Neese’s minority share was bought out by Jake Anderson, though the exact percentage any of them own is still unknown. Later, in 2019 Anderson told PopCulture his intent on becoming the Saga’s owner wasn’t as simple, due to how much of a ‘high stake’ it was: ‘It’s a tough time to buy into the boat, especially because you’re not gonna make a ton of money if you don’t do it right’.

All in all, Jake Anderson and Lenny Herzog are the only known owners of the Saga, as the existence of any other shareholders is unknown.

How Jake Did Became Captain?

Everyone who has paid enough attention to “Deadliest Catch” knows that Jake Anderson’s position on the Saga’s didn’t come easy.

Jake’s career in the fishing industry started when he was 17 years old, working catching salmon in Alaska’s Bristol Bay, switching jobs, until finally joining the Northwestern boat as a greenhorn at 26 years old. Under the guidance of Sig Hansen, Jake learned almost everything there is to know about the industry.

At 30 years old, Jake became a licensed US Coast Guard Mate and Master, which made him eligible to take on a Captain’s position anytime. That first chance came in 2013 when he was offered to co-Captain the Kiska Sea vessel, but that adventure soon ended, and he was back in the Northwestern after what he described as a ‘humbling’ experience.

In 2015 he took the Saga Captain’s seat, though not without facing complaints from the former Captain Elliott Neese.

Subsequently, Jake not only led restorations on the boat, but also changed its entire crew except for the deckhand Nick Tokman. Since then, Jake has taken the Saga through several crab seasons, and though sometimes adversity has made his fishing goals hardly achievable, his leadership skills have clearly improved the boat.

What Happened To The Former Captain?

The Saga’s former Captain Elliott Neese left in 2015, but there’s still a lot of unsaid things about his retirement from the show.

During his time in “Deadliest Catch”, Elliott’s portrayal as the show’s ‘bad guy’ attracted a lot of animosity from the audience. Regardless, the negative image he might have portrayed really didn’t seem to faze him.

Nonetheless, Elliott’s addiction problems and his worsening relationship with his crew ended with him off-camera.

After undergoing a 60-day-long rehabilitation program, the sobered-up Elliott said goodbye to “Deadliest Catch” cameras, though his apparent departure was unclear to say the least: ‘A TV captain will be on the show – Jake Anderson. The real captain won’t be seen on the show’, he told the Inquisitr, implying that he was still the one behind the ship’s wheel, contrary to the reality of what was seen on screen.

Needless to say, Elliott’s claims caused an uproar, but Jake didn’t fire back at him. As he said in a questions and answers session on his Facebook page, Elliott’s badmouthing didn’t affect him and even referred to the former Captain’s addiction issues as ‘one of those things you see in the industry’.

Image source

Do Jake Anderson and Sig Hansen Have a Feud?

While camaraderie between fellow Captains is not a rare occurrence in “Deadliest Catch”, it’s also known that sometimes duty comes before friendship when there’s so much at stake.

As it happens, the Northwestern Captain Sig Hansen was Jake Anderson’s tutor during his early years in the business. His guidance evidently played a big role in Jake’s success in the industry, now as a Captain and leader of his crew. However, now that both men have been on equal ground for years, disagreements and verbal quarrels haven’t been a rarity in their professional relationship. For example, some incidents such as Jake Anderson boxing the Northwestern’s crab gear in the 12th season, or accusing Sig of ‘treason’ after lending him gear, ended up in a tense situation.

However, it seems that what happens on the high seas stays on high seas. As Jake has admitted, ‘there’s a lot of circumstances that go into the choices the captains makes’ and has been keenly defending Sig from the criticism he’s received for taking a more passive stance as a Captain. As well, Sig has praised Jake for having ‘grown in leaps and bounds’ since becoming a skipper, showing that despite not always agreeing, both Captains regard each other with respect.

Who Has Died From The Saga?

It’s not a secret that the cast of “Deadliest Catch” has faced their share of calamities and tragedies, including the death of several stars and crew members.

The Saga is no stranger to these types of unfortunate incidents  – on 14 August 2017, the Saga lost Hannes Huswick, who had worked on board for a couple of years.

In a statement released by Jake Anderson, he recalled some of Hannes’ most memorable moments on board the Sage, especially emphasising his loyalty during hard times: ‘While everyone has laughed at us, spit in our faces – and some opilio and Bairdi seasons we made zero money–he was there. I fucking loved him’.

Describing Hannes as ‘charming, hilarious, very quick-witted, sharp as a razor, overqualified for his previous job’, Jake admitted that he was a close friend on top of being a good employee, regardless of his apparently stubborn attitude.

Sadly enough, Hannes was only 37 years old when he died of a heart attack at home, leaving behind his wife Sarah and five-year-old daughter Sienna. A fundraiser campaign to help Hannes’ family was set up by a friend, ultimately achieving its goal thanks largely to the support of “Deadliest Catch” fans.

Other Tragedies Related To The Saga

While the Saga has gone through its fair share of hardships while on the high seas, what’s most unfortunate is the personal losses some of its crew members have suffered. Specifically, the family tragedies Jake Anderson faced prior to becoming Captain, are well remembered by “Deadliest Catch” as some of the saddest moments in the show.

For starters, in 2009 Jake’s sister Chelsea Dawn Anderson died after struggling with pneumonia and other health issues. She had been diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, which clearly affected her well-being for over three decades. Chelsea’s death was evidently tough for Jake, but it also made him reflect on his own life choices. Knowing it was the right time to improve his life, the loss led Jake to overcome his long-time addiction to drugs, started when he became dependent on painkillers after breaking his ankle at 19 years old.

Another tragedy hit Jake when his father Keith A. Anderson disappeared in early 2010 in Washington State. Despite leaving behind his truck and keys, the search for Keith didn’t lead anywhere for over two years, when his remains were found a mile away from the place he’d left the truck; there has been no explanation for his demise

Was “Deadliest Catch” Canceled?

Fortunately for all of us, “Deadliest Catch” hasn’t been canceled. The show wrapped up its 17th season in September 2021, and though a renewal hasn’t been announced to date, the truth is that it’s very improbable for the show to leave TV screens anytime soon, due to its high ratings, in addition to having already become a classic Discovery show.

Knowing that “Deadliest Catch” has a safe place in our TV schedules, probably for years to come, the only thing we’re left to do is to keep supporting the show which has given us so many joyful and sometimes sad moments.

Leave a Reply

Pin It