'Deadliest Catch' Star Nick Mavar, 59, Dies At Alaskan Boatyard

Nick Mavar, a longtime fisherman whose tenacious deckhand years were chronicled in the Discovery Channel reality series “Deadliest Catch,” died Thursday in Alaska, Bristol Bay Police Chief Jeffrey Eldie confirmed Friday to Deadline. He was 59 years old.

His nephew Jake Anderson, who appeared with Mavar on the show and previously credited Mavar for helping him through substance abuse struggles, told The New York Times on Saturday that Mavar suffered a heart attack while on a ladder at a boatyard in Naknek, Alaska and fell onto a dry dock.

Mavar was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

“The passing of Nick Mavar spread through the fishing community like wild fire,” Sig Hansen, captain of the “Northwestern” ship featured on the show, shared Friday. “This is no surprise because of how well known and respected he was by the fishing fleet.”

Mavar starred in 98 episodes across 17 seasons of “Deadliest Catch” and appeared in several of its popular spinoffs. He worked aboard the Northwestern and its equipment until 2020, when he left the show after his appendix ruptured while filming.

Mavar sued Hansen last year for $1 million for failing to have an adequate plan for ship workers’ medical care, Alaska Public Media reported. Hansen reportedly argued in court last year that the show’s production company and medical provider were to blame for the ship’s COVID-19 protocols, which delayed Mavar’s care.

The fisherman was injured while filming an episode in 2011, when a storm loosened a large hook that hit Mavar in the face, and broke his nose. That incident, as well the appendix scare, were both documented on the show.

His death comes nearly four years after 33-year-old “Deadliest Catch” deckhand Nick McGlashan died of a reported drug overdose — and days after Captain “Wild” Bill Wichrowski shared his prostate cancer diagnosis in a preview of the show’s current season.

Mavar spent his final years golfing and captaining his own salmon boat in Bristol Bay. He is survived by his wife, father, two children from a previous marriage, a stepdaughter and three siblings. His nephew remembers him as “a fisherman through and through.”

“[T]he camera was something that was just there,” Anderson told the Times.