Former "Deadliest Catch" skipper Blake Painter passes away

Blake Painter, a second-generation crabber who starred in early seasons of Discovery Channel’s popular reality TV show “Deadliest Catch,” has passed away, according to media reports.

Painter, 38, who captained the crabber ship Maverick during king crab season in Deadliest Catch’s third installment in 2006, was discovered deceased in his Astoria, Oregon, U.S.A.-based home by concerned friends and local police. According to a report from MSN, authorities detected “no signs of foul play or suspicious circumstances” surrounding Painter’s passing. 

Clatsop County Sheriff Tom Bergin said on Tuesday, 29 May, that Painter had been discovered dead in his home on 25 May, after friends were unable to reach him for an extended period of time, CBS News reported. Toxicology results are pending to determine the cause of death, Bergin confirmed.  

Season three of Deadliest Catch saw Painter, previously a longtime deckhand aboard the Maverick, take over the helm as the vessel’s new captain. During that 2007 season of the series, Painter was considered the youngest skipper in the fleet, MSN reported. The third season of the Emmy Award-winning series was the last to feature Painter.

Current Deadliest Catch captain Keith Colburn expressed his condolences via Twitter after learning of Painter’s death. 

“My sincerest condolences to Capt. Blake’s family, friends, crew, and all who loved him. Fair winds and following seas, Captain. Rest easy; we have the watch,” Colburn tweeted. 

Deadliest Catch is currently in its 14th season. 

Fellow Deadliest Catch stars Tony Lara and Phil Harris have also passed away following their time on the series – Lara in 2015 due to a heart attack, and Harris in 2010 due to a stroke. Justin Tennison, a cast member slated to make his first appearance on the show in 2011, died before his debut at age 33, ABC reported.


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