When you're on TV, even very niche reality TV programs where you're just "playing yourself" and doing what you do on a daily basis in front of cameras, people watch your every move and scrutinize the most minute details of your life, especially when you're putting them on display for all the world to see.
What happened to Chip Hailstone's brother?
On Season 15, Episode 7, Willie made his debut and the episode featured a ton of shared moments between Chip and Willie as they geared up to go fishing.
They joked around, and Willie even introduced himself as Chip's "taller brother" who also happened to be "better looking." Willie works as a commercial fisherman and they were going out with rods in hand for the first time in some 25 years.
When they were kids, Willie talked about how they'd fish before they went to school and then they'd go and catch the bus and when school we over, they'd grab their gear and go fishing again after school.
The day they decided to go out and fish was "OK" by Willie's standards, but it was a blistering -31 degrees. As Willie puts it in the episode, "you're not gonna go out to get a suntan."
Chip, his wife Agnes, and his brother Willie all hopped on their snowmobiles and thanks to the magic of TV, were at their fishing destination in no time, with all their equipment in tow.
In reality, it took about an hour and a half to get there. Everything was going on without a hitch until Agnes noticed that Willie was no longer following them.
After the couple backtracked to see what happened to Willie, they were flagged down by members of the production crew where they saw him laying on a sled. When they approached Willie, he was screaming. He had crashed his snowmobile and broke his wrist in the accident and attempts to tend to his injury culminated in excruciating pain.
Instead of trying to field dress the wounds themselves, which Agnes was prepared to do, Chip decided said they would drive him to a clinic. So they emptied their sled and then wrapped up Willie nice and tight as he did his best to not focus on the pain of his broken wrist.
They had to tie Willie down to make sure he didn't fly off the sled.
Luckily, Willie's wrist injury was not as bad as it looked.
Thankfully, they were able to get him back to town where he was able to get the medical attention he needed. Willie told his brother he couldn't believe how quickly he was able to get him to the clinic and that even though he's not a crybaby, he couldn't believe how much the injury hurt.
Willie also expressed his shock that they were able to get him on a plane and airlift him to care and how seamless the entire experience was. He expressed his gratitude for how "on it" Chip and Agnes were and how they worked so well as a team to ensure that he was brought to safety.
Although Willie's injury was pretty gnarly, he seemed to be in a good mood about it, stating, "that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger," after giving a wry smile.
You can check out Life Below Zero on the National Geographic channel and if you've got a Disney+ subscription, catch episodes of the Alaskan-themed reality show there.