I love a man in flannel, so much that every man I dated from 1988 to 1998 looked like a three-dimensional incarnation of the Brawny man. So, it stands to reason that curiosity will get the better of me on Black Friday (Nov. 25) between 11 am and 1 pm and compel me to swing by the Sigel’s on Greenville to meet Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch captains Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand during their visit to promote vodka. The name of their boat, btw, is Time Bandit, which is (not coincidentally) the name of the vodka they’re in town lending their scruffy mugs to.
Here’s how it all came together: Every October the brother launch Time bandit from Kodiak, Alaska, for the king crab season. The U.S. Department of Commerce has rated fishing in the Bering Sea as the most dangerous job in the country because it has the highest mortality rate of any occupation, ranking above law enforcement officer or firefighter in number of deaths per 100,000 workers. (See our story on how two local boys ended up in this most dangerous profession here.) The Hillstrands never dreamed they would become television stars when they began a life of crab and salmon fishing in the Bering Sea many years ago. Thanks to the reality series about the dangers aboard the Time Bandit and other king crab fishing vessels, the brothers and their boat are known to millions of people around the world. Looking for a way to take advantage of the reality show’s popularity, the brothers had an idea for a vodka named Time Bandit.
“We’ve been really amazed about this,” said Andy Hillstrand. “We had an idea it’s worked out so far. The response has been tremendous.”