Andy Bassich is an American television personality who appears in the reality show Life Below Zero.
Bassich was born on January 25, 1958, in Washington, USA.
He graduated from John F. Kennedy High in 1976.
After high school, Andy worked as a cabinet maker and carpenter.
In 1976, he went to travel across the US, including Alaska. However, Bassich had to go back home to his sister’s wedding.
In 1980, Andy moved to Alaska. When asked about the main reason for his relocation, he responded:
”I just like living out in the woods; I like living out in the bush of Alaska.”
Andy went on to say:
”I wanted a little more peace and quiet and serenity, a little bit more space.”
There, he started to work as a riverboat captain on Yukun River.
Life Below Zero
Starting in 2013, he went to appear on Life Below Zero, a documentary series that chronicles the lives of Alaskans living in remote wilderness areas.
Other cast members of Life Below Zero are:
- Jessie Holmes – he trained over 40 sled dogs;
- Chip Hailstone – he was born in Kalispell, Montana, but moved in Alaska at age 19;
- Agnes Hailstone – she is Chip’s wife; Agnes has lived all her life in Alaska;
- Ricko DeWilde – he is a well-known Athabascan bone and fur artist;
- Sue Aikens – she also appeared in Flying Wild Alaska and Sarah Palin’s Alaska reality TV series;
- Erik Salitan – he lives in Wiseman, Alaska, about 67 miles from the Arctic Circle;
- Glenn Villeneuve – he is a hunter and fisherman.
Andy Bassich is married to Kate Rorke Bassich.
The pair first met in Dawson City in 2003. At the time, Kate was a tourist and Bassich was working as a riverboat captain.
In a 2013 interview with Washingtonian, Andy detailed how he met his wife:
”I worked on the Yukon River as a riverboat captain for 20 years, and I met her up in Dawson City.”
”She was a tourist coming through, and we hit it off really well. We met in 2003, and we’ve been together ever since.”
Kate said about living in Alaska:
”For those who want to live this lifestyle, it is not the fairy tale of sitting in a log cabin with a dog at your side and knitting or reading a book.”
”You need to be self-motivated and have the work ethic of a madman; this no life for the lazy.”
In 2015, Kate filed for divorce. The divorce was finalized in 2016.
During a later interview, Kate revealed that her ex-husband had been abusing her. She said:
”The hardest part is understanding why I stayed so long in an abusive relationship.”
Kate went on to say:
”I do know I love the land, I loved the lifestyle but I could not love the man he really is.”
She also said:
”I lived in a fairytale belief that someday he would become a kind, faithful, loving person.”
Currently, she is no longer part of Life Below Zero. At the moment, Kate is living in Canada. She said in a video:
”The memories are good, the friends are good, and it’s nice to be around people who have known me since the beginning of time.”
After his divorce from Kate, Bassich started to date Denise Becker. The couple met while she was on a boat trip.
Denise is a trauma nurse who has helped Andy recuperate from an injury. Bassich said about his injury:
”I ended up with two infections – one in the muscle, one in the bone – and it almost killed me.”
”It’s time to get back to my home in Calico Bluff, play a little bit of catch up this summer with getting my dogs back down there, getting my house back in order.”
He can’t legally hunt marine mammals in Alaska since he was not born there.
After the abuse of his former wife, Andy received negative criticism for his behavior. Some fans of Living Below Zero said that they will not be watching the reality TV show anymore if Andy is still on the show.
National Geographic stated:
”We ask that viewers keep their discussions based on the content of the show, not on speculations about the offscreen personal lives of the cast.”
Kate posted on her Facebook page that she suffers from PTSD.
Note – post-traumatic stress disorder can develop following any event that makes an individual fear for his safety. Some of the symptoms of PTSD include:
- difficulty sleeping;
- repeatedly thinking about the trauma;
- constantly on guard;
- nightmares about the memories;
- difficulty interacting with others;
- flashbacks about the trauma;
- avoiding reminders of the trauma;
- feeling blame about the trauma;
- negative thought about yourself;
- memory problems.
In 2009, Andy, Kate, and 21 sled dogs were rescued after a flood hit their home by the Yukon River. In 2013, he explained to Alaska Public how he prepared for a possible new flood:
”I built a large raft about 16 by 20 foot with large barrels underneath of it and we plan on putting snow machines and tools up on top of that.”
Andy later added:
“We just moved our fish rack with about 1500 fish on it and then I’m gonna start working on building an extension on the upper deck of our porch so that we can have an area to put all of our household goods.”
Andy Bassich – Net Worth
Bassich earns most of his wealth from being part of the television reality show Living Below Zero. In addition, Andy makes some money from raising sled dogs for mushing business. Therefore, Andy Bassich has an estimated net worth of $0.3 million.