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Deadliest Catch Cast Members Who Died During Production

Fan’s of Discovery Channels ‘Deadliest Catch’ know that life on the open sea can be — well, deadly

The nautical reality show has had a troubled history riddled with death. Recently another name has been added to the ever-growing list of fatalities connected with the high-stakes series. On July 27, 2020, something reveals via Facebook. Mahlon Reyes, a deckhand that is famous for turning the most strenuous situation into something bearable, had passed away.

Stick around to see just how he passed away and what his friends and family had to say to remember him.

Since its debut in 2005, Deadliest Catch gives viewers an inside look at the life of a deep-sea crab fisherman. The show shows us a little into the lives of those that put their safety and security on the line. It is to go after the Alaskan King and Snow Crabs in the tumultuous Bering Sea.

The show collects a cult-like following with strong viewership which awards 15 Emmy awards for its adrenaline-fueled, nail-biting excellence. With all of those accolades, however, it’s important to remember the lives of those who cancel. It is in pursuit of what can only be termed the Deadliest Catch.

Facts Verse Presents: Deadliest Catch Cast Members Who Died During Production

But before we dive down deep into the murky seas of mortality, do us a quick favor and like this video. Subscribe to our channel and turn notifications on by tapping the bell icon so you never have to miss another one of our videos.

Phil Harris

One of the most beloved crew members of the fishing boat Cornelia Marie was Captain Phillip Charles Harris. The ship and its crew have been featured in the show since 2005 when the show first premiered.

In 2008, tragedy struck. Captain Harris is asleep in his bunk trying to ride out a rough storm. He suddenly fell from his bunk and started coughing up blood. When doctors rushed in to assess his situation it was determined that he was experiencing a pulmonary embolism.

He was forced to take a break to heal but he returned to the show in 2009.

Then the unthinkable happened. Cornelia Marie is offloading crab at St. Paul Island in Alaska on January 29, 2010. Then, the captain suddenly had a massive stroke. He was kept in a medically induced coma as he was rushed to a hospital in Anchorage. He showed initial signs of improving – which the medical staff didn’t expect. And he took his last breath on February 9, 2010. Also, he experienced what is called an intracranial hemorrhage. His last days were all documented during the show’s sixth season upon his request.

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Tony Lara

He joined Cornelia Marie back in the 90s and he was once the captain of that vessel. He is only 56 years old when he suffers a massive heart attack. It is while attending the annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota – right outside the black hills.

Discovery Channel released a statement in 2015 following his passing. They letting viewers know that yet another member of the Deadliest Catch family had lost their life. He may only briefly been on the show during 2011’s season. But, his loss still created waves for his community of family and friends.

Dr. Keith Anderson

This particular death had some mystery surrounding it for a while. Jake Anderson, Keith’s son had expressed concerns. His father who was a doctorate-holding former school counselor had been missing for several days.

The Washington state native’s disappearance inspired a police investigation. Eventually, led to the discovery of Dr. Keith’s abandoned truck. In a remote rural location on an old logging road – but no Dr.

Investigators combed the area looking for clues as to where he might have gone but they came back empty-handed. Despite being rather heavy, the whole troubling saga was captured on film for the show as well.

It was nearly 2 years later that a hiker discovered the skeletal remains of the missing man about a mile away from where his truck had been abandoned.

Tragedy wasn’t something new for the Anderson family either. Just a year prior, Chelsea Dawn Anderson, Jake’s little sister passed away from complications of pneumonia.

Blake Painter

During seasons 2 and 3 he served as the captain of the F/V Maverick. He was a native of Astoria, Oregon and passed away in May of 2018 at the age of 38.

Not much is known about his death. No official cause was ever released but it is notable that he had traces of drug residue on him when he was found. He had been dead in his home for several days before a friend did a wellness check.

Justin Tennison

He served as a deckhand on the F/V Time Bandit. The night before he died, he was reportedly partying with his friends in a hotel room. The next-door neighbors called in a noise complaint The next morning however on February 22, 2011, he was found dead in his hotel room bed.

His death was officially ruled as a result of complications related to obstructive sleep apnea. He was only 33 years old when he took his last breath. Yet another deckhand that died much too young. He appeared posthumously in season 7.

Joe McMahon

The associate producer of Deadliest Catch was only 24 when he was gunned down in front of his parent’s home in Pasadena, California in July of 2015. It was initially assumed to be gang-related but that was soon ruled out. Joe’s own father Tom would later come out and give us the full scoop of what happened that fateful evening.

Joe had a couple of childhood friends over that he hadn’t seen in many years. They played video games and reminisced about their younger years, but something was soon apparently wrong. Joe started to ask his guests repeatedly when they were going to leave. Around 2 a.m, both men left but shortly after, one of the men came back and shot him in cold blood in his parent’s front yard. He then sped off and parked in front of his own childhood home, only to turn the gun on himself.

Apparently he had been suffering from a mental disorder and was on a bit of a downward spiral for quite some time. If only someone had noticed his suffering and spotted the warning signs, then maybe it didn’t have to go down like that.

Joe’s father is now a gun safety activist, hoping that someday what happened to his son won’t happen to other innocent people.

The crazy thing is that Joe and his murderer had grown up with each other. They played on the same little league baseball team together and went to the same high school. They hadn’t seen each other in years. It seems that whatever beef his killer had with him was a product of his mental instability and some sort of past resentment or jealousy that manifested into such a horrific unfolding years later.

Mahlon Reyes

As we touched on briefly in the intro, Mahlon Reyes just passed away on July 27, 2020, at the North Valley Montana Hospital a day after he suffered from a heart attack at his home in Whitefish.

He had been on life support following the heart attack but he was rendered brain dead. His family had to make the very difficult decision to pull the plug and let him pass on. His family Pointed out that his ‘body was tired and had put up and amazing fight.’ Their Statement continued by saying ” He was the strongest guy we knew. He was surrounded by so much love.’

His wife, Heather Sullivan recalls that he was always capable of bringing laughter and joy to their circle of family and friends. She pointed out that he touched so many people’s lives in such a positive way, always with an uplifting attitude and smile.

His deck boss on Deadliest Catch, Nick McGlashan paid him his respects via a Twitter post with a picture of Mahlon on deck with the caption “This place misses you, RIP Mahlon.”

Reyes’s wife announced that he was promptly cremated and that his ashes will be spread in the Bering Sea and up in the mountains of Montana’s Swan Range per his wishes.

He had appeared on 14 episodes of Deadliest catch since 2012 and was a deckhand on both the Seabrooke and Cape Caution crabbing boats.

The family had also set up a GoFundMe to help pay for his funeral arrangements, although they expressed that anything would help, including a simple share or a prayer.

Condolences To Friends And Families

We at Facts Verse want to send our condolences to Mahlon Reyes’ friends and family and to all the people touched by the loss of all the Deadliest Catch fisherman featured on this video. All of those lives were tragically cut short much too young.

It’s peculiar that they all died in such wildly different ways yet none of them died as a direct result of the risks they face at sea.

Now it’s time to hear from you – our lovely viewing audience – what do you think would be the hardest part about being out at sea for so long on a crabbing boat? Would it be the fact that you have to be away from your friends and family for months at a time, or would it be the inherent danger you’d be facing on a daily basis? Let us know what you think in the comments section.

And one last thing before we go, if you haven’t already, could you like this video and subscribe to our channel? It’s the least deadly thing you could do today and it’s the best way for you to show us your support.

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