Fisherman Nick Mavar, ‘Deadliest Catch’ star, dead at 59

Nick Mavar

Nick Mavar, a commercial salmon fisherman who appeared as a deckhand on the reality television show “Deadliest Catch” from 2005 to 2020, died June 13. He was 59.

Mavar died at a hospital in King Salmon, Alaska, The New York Times reported.

His death was confirmed by his wife, Julie Hanson Mavar. According to the newspaper, his nephew, Jake Anderson, said that Mavar had a heart attack while on a ladder at a boatyard in Naknek, Alaska. Anderson said that Mavar fell onto a dry dock.

According to, Mavar appeared in 92 episodes of “Deadliest Catch,” beginning with the reality television show’s first season in 2005. He worked as a deckhand on the Northwestern crab fishing boat, Variety reported.

Mavar also appeared in several of the show’s spinoff series, including “Deadliest Catch: Legends Born & Broken” and “Deadliest Catch: Evolution of Danger.” Both shows aired in 2017.

“You could give the guy a tin pail, and he could make it catch fish,” Anderson told the Times. “You could give him a bicycle, and he could make it float.”

Mavar left “Deadliest Catch” while filming an expedition in December 2020 after his appendix ruptured to reveal a cancerous tumor, the Times reported. He was also injured while shooting an episode in 2011 when a large hook came loose and struck him in the face, according to the newspaper. Mavar broke his nose.

The fisherman later sued the Northwestern’s owner, Sig Hansen, for $1 million over a “failure to have an adequate plan in place” for a medical emergency while COVID-19 restrictions were implemented, Variety reported.

The boat’s owners sued the show’s production company, alleging failure to have an adequate plan in place” to get outside medical help during the pandemic, according to Deadline.

Nickola Mavar Jr. was born on Oct. 21, 1964, in San Pedro, California, the Times reported.

After leaving the Northwestern, Mavar captained his own salmon boat in Bristol Bay, according to the newspaper.

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