Sig Hansen attends Discovery's 30th Anniversary Celebration Credit: Mike Pont/WireImage

The Deadliest Catch's Sig Hansen has been hospitalized following an emergency at sea in which he suffered chest pains and had to be airlifted to safety.

Hansen, who has starred on Discovery Channel's hit reality show since 2006, was at sea on Wednesday, March 2, when he started feeling discomfort, a statement on the show's official twitter feed announced. And although the tough captain wanted to continue his journey, members of his crew insisted the emergency services were called.

"Hey Catch Crew, we know there have been a lot of questions about Sig today. But we wanted to make sure we had all the info for you," a statement released via Twitter read. "@northwesternsig experienced chest pain at sea. While he wanted to keep going, the crew insisted that they dock to get help. He was airlifted to Anchorage, Alaska, and immediately rushed to a medical facility. He is with his family and in good spirits. Please send him your love and prayers."

The 49-year-old skipper briefly appeared in an Instagram photograph posted later in the day by his daughter, Mandy Hansen, in which he was seen smiling in his hospital bed.

The post, which has since been deleted, suggested that Hansen had overcome his serious medical emergency.

It's not the first time that Hansen has experienced close calls at sea. He once suffered an ankle sprain on-board a fishing vessel, which meant he had to abandon his position as chef on the boat. The boat later went out to sea and never returned.

"Basically a sprained ankle saved my life," he said previously. "I'm lucky to be here."

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