Deadliest Catch earned its name for a reason: there are serious risks that go along with Alaskan crab fishing as a profession. The brutal, come-out-of-nowhere storms, the harsh conditions, and choppy waters mean it isn't a job for the faint of heart. Deckhand Mahlon Reyes survived his aquatic excursions in the quest for massive crab hauls. So, what happened to the Deadliest Catch star that caused him to pass away so young?
What happened to Mahlon Reyes? He wasn't filming 'Deadliest Catch' when he died.
Sadly, the 38-year-old suffered a massive heart attack while in his hometown of Whitefish, Mont. on July 25, 2020. He wasn't able to regain consciousness and was put on life support, leaving his family, which includes his 19-year-old son, Aiden, and his partner, Heather Sullivan, with a tough decision to make.
Those close to the reality TV star shared the tragic news on Facebook. Mahlon passed away on July 27, 2020, a little over a day after he was taken to North Valley Montana Hospital:
"On Sunday night our family together made the hardest choice we've ever made and that was to remove him from life support. Mahlon's body was tired and had put up an amazing fight. He was the strongest guy we knew. He was surrounded by so much love," the post reads.
The Discovery Channel issued a statement regarding Mahlon's passing, stating, "So sad, he was so young. Our thoughts and prayers to his family."
Other Deadliest Catch personalities shared tributes to Mahlon online. Nick McGlashan, who worked with Mahlon wrote, "This place misses you. RIP Mahlon."
Heather has said that Mahlon's closest family and friends plan on spreading his cremated remains throughout the Bering Sea and in Montana's Swan Range mountains. The latter area is "where he and his brother would snowcat. These are two of his favorite places," according to Heather.
On January 6, 2021, USA Today reported that "the coroner and sheriff at the Flathead County Sheriff's Office Brian Heino confirmed" Mahlon died of a cocaine overdose. It was ruled accidental. Heather, told USA Today in an email they wanted to "laugh and remember all the funny stories and have been surrounded by an amazing group of our best friends and family." She went on to say, "I am in awe of the people that he touched just by his positive attitude and smile."
What boat did Mahlon Reyes fish on?
Mahlon had appeared in 14 episodes of the show since 2012. He worked as a deckhand on both the Cape Caution and Seabrooke vessels, which frequented the Bering Sea for Alaskan King Crab. Fans of the show resonated with Mahlon despite the fact that he was relatively only featured in a few episodes compared to some of the other more recognizable fishermen on the long-running reality series.
Over $14,000 was raised via a GoFundMe campaign to help Mahlon's family with the cost of his funeral and his sudden death. The page reads, "It’s been such a tragedy and anything would help even if it’s a simple share or a prayer." Hopefully the family was finally able to find some peace.