‘Deadliest Catch’ Star Nick Mavar’s Cause of Death Revealed
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‘Deadliest Catch’ Star Nick Mavar’s Cause of Death Revealed

Mavar’s nephew revealed that the reality star had been battling health issues.

Deadliest Catch star Nick Mavar’s cause of death has been revealed. Mavar, who served as a deckhand on the F/V Northwestern for nearly two decades, passed away on June 13 at a hospital in King Salmon, Alaska. He was 59 years old.

His wife, Julie Mavar, confirmed the news. Nick reportedly suffered a heart attack while working at a boatyard in Naknek, Alaska, where he managed his fishing operation. The incident occurred when Mavar was climbing a ladder, which caused him to fall onto a dry dock. The Bristol Bay Borough Police Department in Naknek verified Mavar’s death but refrained from providing additional details.

Nick’s nephew, Jake Anderson, shed light on the circumstances surrounding his uncle’s untimely death. Anderson told The New York Times that Mavar had been battling health issues in recent years, including a previous heart attack and a cancer diagnosis that came to light when his appendix ruptured during the filming of Deadliest Catch in 2020. Despite these challenges, Mavar’s resilience and determination were well-known within the fishing community.

Born Nickola Mavar Jr. on October 21, 1964, in San Pedro, California, Nick hailed from a family with deep roots in the fishing industry. His father, Nickola Mavar Sr., emigrated from Croatia in 1959 and initially pursued mechanical engineering while fishing part-time. Eventually, the elder Mavar transitioned into full-time commercial fishing, as documented in an interview with an oral history program at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

When Nick embarked on his own fishing career in the early 1990s, he faced numerous obstacles, including the high costs associated with obtaining permits and operating a fishery. Anderson recounted how his uncle’s resourcefulness and drive helped him overcome these challenges. “You could give the guy a tin pail, and he could make it catch fish,” Anderson said. “You could give him a bicycle, and he could make it float.”

Nick’s journey in the fishing industry led him to acquire one of his boats, named Miss Colleen after his sister, from his father upon his retirement. He went on to establish his own fishery in Alaska before joining the crew of the Northwestern, owned by Sig Hansen. It was this position that brought Nick to the attention of Deadliest Catch producers, leading to his appearances on the show.

Throughout his 98 episodes on the Discovery Channel show from 2005 to 2021, Nick faced numerous hardships, including a severe injury in 2011 when a large hook broke loose during a storm and struck him in the face, fracturing his nose. Despite the physical and emotional toll of his job, Nick remained dedicated to his craft and earned the respect of his fellow fishermen.

Hansen, the captain of the Northwestern, expressed his grief over Nick’s passing on social media, writing, “The passing of Nick Mavar spread through the fishing community like wildfire.” Hansen described Nick as a close friend who had worked on his family boat for more than 25 years.

After departing from the Northwestern, Nick continued to pursue his passion for fishing, captaining his own salmon boat in Bristol Bay. He also found joy in golfing with his wife, Julie, whom he married in 2021. Nick is survived by his wife, his father, two children from a previous marriage, Myles and Emme Mavar, a stepdaughter, Jensen Weynands, two brothers, Brian and John, and a sister, Colleen.

Anderson told The New York Times that despite the fame that came with appearing on Deadliest Catch, Nick Mavar remained humble and focused on his true calling. “He was a fisherman through and through,” Anderson said, “and the camera was something that was just there.”

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