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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

‘Deadliest Catch’ star Nick Mavar dies at 59

By John Yoon New York Times

Nick Mavar, a commercial salmon fisherman known for his tenacity and resourcefulness who was also a deckhand on the Discovery Channel’s extreme fishing reality show “Deadliest Catch,” died Thursday at a hospital in King Salmon, Alaska. He was 59.

His death was confirmed by his wife, Julie (Hanson) Mavar. His nephew Jake Anderson said that Mavar had a heart attack Thursday while on a ladder at a boatyard in Naknek, Alaska, where he ran his fishing operation, and fell onto a dry dock.

He was pronounced dead at a hospital, Anderson said.

“Deadliest Catch,” which follows crab fishermen off the Alaskan coast, is one of the top-rated programs on basic cable.

The show premiered in 2005, and Mavar appeared in 98 episodes, working on a fishing boat called the F/V Northwestern until 2021.

Mavar left the show while filming an expedition in 2020 after his appendix ruptured, revealing a cancerous tumor, Anderson said.

Mavar was also injured while shooting an episode in 2011, when a large hook came loose during a storm and struck him in the face, breaking his nose.

Nickola Mavar Jr. was born Oct. 21, 1964, in San Pedro, California, to Nickola Mavar Sr. and Maureen (Whelan) Mavar.

He grew up in a fishing family, and his father was a fisherman who emigrated from Croatia in 1959. While a mechanical engineering student in California, the elder Mavar at first fished part time until becoming a commercial fisherman, according to an interview with an oral history program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

One of Mavar’s boats, named Miss Colleen after his sister, was purchased from his father when he retired, Anderson said. Soon, he ran a fishery in Alaska, then later took a job working for captain Sig Hansen on the Northwestern, which brought him to the show.

“The passing of Nick Mavar spread through the fishing community like wildfire,” Hansen wrote on social media.

After leaving the Northwestern, Mavar captained his own salmon boat in Bristol Bay and golfed frequently with Julie Mavar, whom he married in 2021, Anderson said.

In addition to Julie Mavar and his father, Mavar is survived by two children from a previous marriage, Myles and Emme Mavar; a stepdaughter, Jensen Weynands; two brothers, Brian and John; and a sister, Colleen.

This article originally appeared in {a href=””}The New York Times{/a}.