The Tragic Death Of Deadliest Catch Star Nick McGlashan

The McGlashan family, friends, and fans worldwide are mourning the untimely death of Deadliest Catch star Nick McGlashan. The fisherman reportedly died in Nashville, Tenn., on Dec. 27, 2020, his family and the medical examiner told TMZ.

The 33-year-old deck boss started crabbing at age 13 and was a seventh-generation fisherman, according to Discovery. An Alaska native, McGlashan was a fixture on the Discovery Channel reality show, which follows crews fishing for crab off the Alaska coast in rough conditions — an area which has had its fair share of tragedy.

McGlashan — who appeared on 80 episodes of the series in addition to various documentaries, specials, and movies between 2013 and 2020 — was named for his great uncle, who was a pioneer of the nation's crabbing industry. "Nick is known for his witty quips, working through the pain, and not stopping the job until it's done," according to Discovery. Yet, while fans are grieving, many remain confused, as McGlashan's cause of death remains a mystery.

Nick McGlashan's cause of death is unknown, but he has struggled with sobriety

As of this writing, the cause of Nick McGlashan's death remained unknown. On Deadliest Catch, his substance use disorder became part of the featured storyline, and he went to rehab for drugs and alcohol during the show's 13th season, according to Page Six. Since becoming sober, McGlashan had been open about his issues, promoting clean living and the power of faith. His Instagram profile includes the words "God/Sober."

Fans took to social media to mourn McGlashan and offer condolences to the star's family. "I know he struggled but he was one of the most likable guys, you wanted to root for him!" one user tweeted. "His smile was contagious on the show and he was so talented in many things."

Another user added, "I have chatted off and on with @NickMcglashan over the years ... and have been so proud of his journey. Gutted to hear he is another gone too soon. Hugs and love to his family, boat family and friends." Our hearts go out to those who are mourning McGlashan and we wish them nothing but peace and clarity in the coming days.

Nick McGlashan opened up about his struggles

Nick McGlashan was open about his struggles with addiction and addressed his journey to sobriety in a 2017 article he wrote for Chosen MagazineNick explained that he had been abusing alcohol, heroin, and methamphetamine before seeking help. "My life went from Bering Sea bada** to full-blown junkie very rapidly. Hidden from me was that passion I had for life," Nick wrote. "Taken from me was my ability to live. I was at war with my addiction and it was winning...To say I was lost would be an understatement. I was broken and soulless." 

On Nov. 11, 2016, Nick did "the scariest thing" he has ever done and entered a treatment center. Why did I get this sudden urge to become clean? Why do I continue to stay sober?" he mused. "I feel as if a higher power reached down and saved my life, plucking me from a certain death during a raging storm."

Although the process of getting help was daunting, Nick realized the risk was worth the outcome. "The greatest thing about my recovery is that I can change someone's life just by talking about my addiction and recovery," he concluded. 

Deadliest Catch has dealt with tragedy before

Sadly, former Deadliest Catch star Blake Painter was found dead at age 38 in his Oregon home on May 29, 2018. Painter struggled with heroin addiction and had previously been arrested for drug possession, per USA TodayAlthough the toxicology report was never made public, a police report obtained by TMZ stated that drug paraphernalia was discovered at the scene where he died. 

Fellow crew member Jake Harris also battled addiction after his father, Captain Phil's untimely passing at age 53 due to a heart attack. Jake left the series ahead of Season 15, and in a June 2020 interview with Ace Showbiz, his brother, Josh Harris, provided an encouraging update about his life. "Jake is actually doing really well," Josh said. 

In July 2020, fans were stunned by the sudden death of deckhand Mahlon Reyes (pictured above right), who died of a heart attack at age 38. Mahlon was removed from life support, and his wife Heather Sullivan told USA Today that fond memories of their life together made the "impossible situation bearable." She added, "He was my rock, as I was his." Deck boss Nick posted a memorial tribute photo on Twitter to honor Mahlon.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse and mental health, please contact SAMHSA's 24-hour National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).