'Deadliest Catch' Star Passes Away at 59 Following Medical Emergency


Nick Mavar, formerly a deckhand on the F/V Northwestern featured in “Deadliest Catch,” has passed away. The Police Chief of the Bristol Bay Borough Police Department in Alaska confirmed that the former Discovery Channel personality died on Thursday afternoon in Naknek, Alaska following a medical emergency.

The Bristol Bay Borough Police Department has not provided details on the nature of the medical emergency that led to Mavar’s death, citing that it is too early in the investigation to draw conclusions. However, they have confirmed that Mavar’s family has been notified of the tragic news.

“The Bristol Bay police department received a call for a medical emergency at a boatyard in Naknek. Medics responded and transported Nick Mavar Jr. to Camai medical center where they attempted life-saving measures,” a statement said to Fox News. “Mr. Mavar was later pronounced deceased and next of kin has been notified.” Authorities are currently gathering information and waiting to speak with witnesses who were present at the scene.

Mavar featured prominently in “Deadliest Catch” and its spin-offs, “Deadliest Catch: Siberian Winter” and “Deadliest Catch: The Bait.” His time on the show came to an abrupt end during a December 2020 voyage when his appendix ruptured, an emergency that unfolded in dramatic fashion on the series. Occurring amid the pandemic, the incident severely delayed his access to medical care, leading to significant health complications, including the discovery of a cancerous tumor within his ruptured appendix.


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The severity of his condition and the delay in treatment prompted Mavar to file a lawsuit against Sig Hansen, the captain of the Northwestern, and his wife, arguing that the lack of a timely medical response exacerbated his health issues. The legal battle highlighted tensions between Mavar and the Hansens, with Sig Hansen contending that the responsibility lay with the show’s production company and their medical subcontractors. As of last year, the Hansen family was still pursuing compensation for legal and medical costs related to the incident.

Mavar’s death marks another loss in the “Deadliest Catch” community, following the deaths of his co-stars Mahlon Reyes and Nick McGlashan in 2020. Throughout his tenure from 2005 to 2021, appearing in 98 episodes, Nick was not just a crew member but a pivotal figure in maintaining the vessel and its equipment. His final seasons on the show were marked by his health struggles, which were documented in detail, adding a personal layer to his on-screen persona.

Beyond his role on the ship, Mavar was deeply connected to the show’s community; he was the uncle to Jake Anderson, a former greenhorn on the Northwestern who rose to become captain of the Saga. Mavar was instrumental in his nephew’s personal journey, supporting his recovery from substance abuse. His influence extended off the deck, embodying the familial and supportive spirit that “Deadliest Catch” viewers came to admire.

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