At a recent event, two women tore the T-shirt off of Andy Hillstrand's body. At another a woman fainted in his brother John's arms.
These are the new dangers facing the captains-cum-celebrities of the Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch.
The Hillstrand brothers and their partner in crime, Captain Sig Hansen, are touring the country like rock stars while promoting the seventh season of their hit show about the rigors of catching crab on the high seas.
Andy Hillstrand says life isn't actually all that different now that millions of people recognize him. That's because he and the other fishermen were a pretty big deal to begin with in their small Alaskan town of 2,500.
"When we'd come back to dock with all our money, the place would go crazy with people cheering and crying," Hillstrand says. "We already felt like rock stars. Now it's just on a bigger scale."
The 47-year-old, third-generation fisherman admits, however, that there are "cool perks" to being world-famous. He recently drank tequila shots with Toby Keith and can now talk to the NASCAR drivers at races.
But Hillstrand says he's not letting fame go to his head. "We see what happens on reality shows," he says.
When first being approached to go on "tour," Hillstrand says, he "wondered what the hell we'd do." But the event has since morphed into an interesting 90 minutes of audience Q&A, story-swapping and even some of his own musical stylings.
The Discovery Channel calls crab fishing in the Bering Sea "the most dangerous job on Earth." But really, just what is so harrowing about capturing crustaceans?
A lot, according to Hillstrand. If it's not the monster waves and freezing weather, it's equipment hitting people or drunk sailors falling just trying to get on the boat.
"You can even sink at dock, for Christ's sake," Hillstrand says. "Sometimes it's less about the fishing than fighting for your life."
The costumes were amazing and added to the brilliant production.
The striking colors and textures are reminiscent of Southern Colorado and New Mexico. Lovely work.