More Details About Deadliest Catch Star Todd Kochutin's Death Have Come To Light

In February 2021, the "Deadliest Catch" crew lost 30-year-old Todd Kochutin. According to Kochutin's obituary, the fisherman died as a result of injuries sustained while on the fishing vessel the F/V Patricia Lee. His obituary read, "He was a passionate fisherman. He devoted most of summers and winters to fishing for king crab, opilio, Pacific cod and pollock in the Bering Sea. The Bering Sea was very special place near and dear to his heart."

"Deadliest Catch" viewers became acquainted with Kochutin in 2020, when he filled in for Mahlon Reyes, a "Deadliest Catch" cast member who passed away from a heart attack at age 38, according to USA Today. Kochutin's obituary revealed that he was preceded in death by his parents, brother, and sister.

Sadly, Kochutin is far from the only member of the "Deadliest Catch" who has passed away, and new realities about his death make his sudden death all the more jarring.

Fellow fishermen learned of Todd Kochutin's passing while at sea

Newly released and emotional video footage shows how the "Deadliest Catch" ships came to learn about Todd Kochutin's passing. The beginning of the Discovery clip shows Captain Bill Wichrowski informing other ships through radio that a medivac was needed on the Patricia Lee. "Hopefully it's not Todd," Wichrowski said. Responding to an urgent distress call, a member of the U.S. Coast Guard then said, "My main concern is whether or not he's alert and awake." 

At that point, Landon Cheney, a deck boss who was close friends with Kochutin, told film cameras, "I can't keep losing friends." Not long after, it was confirmed that the injured individual did not make it; shortly thereafter, his identity was sadly confirmed as Kochutin's. Cheney learned of his friend's passing after looking at Kochutin's aunt's Facebook page. "His aunt just posted that her only living nephew, Todd, just passed away." Wiping tears away, Wichrowski replied, "This is a cold hard reminder of what could happen." 

Crab fishing is considered extremely dangerous. In fact, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, commercial fishing is the deadliest occupation in the United States, with 29 times the national average of deaths each year, per the CDC