Nick McGlashan, a fisherman who starred on the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch, has died at the age of 33. TMZ reported the reality TV star died Sunday, December 27, in Nashville, Tennessee. The cause of death is under investigation, CNN reported.
“Nick came from a long line of crabbers and was known for his great depth of knowledge. He also had a sharp sense of humor even in the most difficult conditions,” the network said in a statement shared with media. “He will be deeply missed by all those who knew him.”
Here’s what you need to know about McGlashan:
McGlashan Was a 7th Generation Fisherman & Had Struggled With Drug & Alcohol Addiction
According to his bio on the Discovery website, McGlashan was a 7th generation fisherman who grew up on the island of Akutan, Alaska. He started crabbing at the age of 13 on his father Bruce’s boat. His father was a longtime friend of Deadliest Catch star “Wild” Bill Wichrowski and in 2011, McGlashan was hired by Wichrowski to work on the Kodiak. He went on to head the crew on Wichrowski’s Cape Caution and then later the Summer Bay.
In season 13, however, McGlashan was fired by Wichrowski and entered rehab for drug and alcohol addiction. Us Weekly reported that McGlashan got sober in 2016 after being fired for using drugs while working and then taking $10,000 cash and buying heroin and a one-way ticket to Florida. Since then, McGlashan had “battled endlessly to stay sober and embrace a new sober lifestyle and is now so committed to his recovery that he inspires others in their own,” according to his bio.
He was eventually rehired on the show and recently filmed the 17th season, which will air in the spring of 2021, according to a recent tweet he posted of himself wrapping the season.
McGlashan’s Father Was Prepared to Outlive His Son
In a 2017 article for Chosen magazine, McGlashan opened up about his struggles with alcohol and drugs, writing that before he sought help, his father told him he was prepared to outlive his son.
“My father recently told me that during my active addiction he was mentally preparing himself to outlive me. I guess the saying is true, ‘parents are only as happy as their kids’ I had forgotten what happy was. The pain I caused my family I now realize is unmeasurable by any standard,” wrote McGlashan.
He added, “During my time in treatment as the fog of drugs began to lift I came to terms with the person I had become, an alcoholic dope fiend. I was so pissed at Bill but why? Because he fired me. He left me. It was then I realized that in his shoes I would have done the same exact thing. Later I figured out that Bill wasn’t abandoning me but giving me the space I so desperately needed to grow and understand that I had three choices; I could clean up, get buried up or locked up.”
McGlashan also wrote that once he got sober, he regained the ability to feel and that his “sober squad” was “some of the best friends” he had ever had.
“Everyone deserves a second chance. We all deserve 100 chances,” he wrote. “My father and my family gave me another chance. With a new outlook and understanding, I got my life back. I once again have my loving family; they’re loving me and I am loving life. I’m grateful to be clean and happy with myself and all I had to do was quit using drugs. It was that simple. I took the weight of the world I was carrying on my shoulders and turned it into a pair of wings.”
McGlashan is not the first Deadliest Catch cast member to die. Deckhand Mahlon Reyes died earlier this year after suffering a heart attack, former captain Blake Painter was found dead in 2018 at the age of 38, Captain Phil Harris died after suffering a stroke in 2010, former captain Tony Lara died of a heart attack in 2015, deckhand Justin Tennison died in 2011 after complications with sleep apnea, Captain Jake Anderson’s father Keith went missing in 2010 and his remains were found in 2012, and two vessels, the Ocean Challenger and the Destination, sank and claimed several fishermen’s lives.