A Guide to the Wild Amount of Drama That Has Sprung From Deadliest Catch

Since Deadliest Catch premiered in 2005, arrests, addiction and untimely deaths have left their mark on the long-running reality show about the dangerous business of deep-sea crab fishing.

It makes sense that a show about the dangerous-as-hell business of deep-sea crab fishing would provide for some of the most fraught moments reality TV has ever had to offer.

These guys put their lives at risk every time they head out to mine the depths of the ocean for Alaskan king crab and other crustacean delicacies that consumers get to enjoy thanks to their blood, sweat and—more often than you might guess—tears.

In turn, Deadliest Catch has won 16 Emmys, including two for Best Unstructured Reality Program (a rare assignation if there ever was one), spawned books and video games, and remains a must-watch for millions after 15 years on Discovery Channel.

But perhaps because of the very nature of the job at hand, the drama over 16 seasons hasn’t been confined to the adventures unfolding at sea.

The crew of the Summer Bay now has to say goodbye to deck boss Nick McGlashan, who died Dec. 27 at the age of 33. The seventh-generation fisherman had struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, and his sea-based brotherhood had seen him through some scary times, including multiple overdoses and a seemingly successful trip to rehab in 2016 after he was briefly suspended from filming Deadliest Catch.

“Why did I get this sudden urge to become clean? Why do I continue to stay sober?” McGlashan reflected in a May 2017 article for Chosen Magazine. “I feel as if a higher power reached down and saved my life, plucking me from a certain death during a raging storm.”

He remained on the show right up through the season 16 finale, which aired Sept. 22, and was seemingly going to be back for more. But while his cause of death is pending, there may have been signs that not all was right behind the scenes.


He had tweeted Dec. 9, “Trauma be making me fall asleep randomly. It also wakes me up randomly. Navigate carefully.”

His death comes barely four months after Mahlon Reyes, a 38-year-old deckhand on the Seabrooke and married father of four, died suddenly of a heart attack. McGlashan mourned Reyes on social media, writing, “Love you Mahlonn m v you’re missed.”

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