Famous tuna fisherman Nicholas ‘Duffy’ Fudge, who starred on National Geographic’s reality series “Wicked Tuna,” died last week. He was 28.
The Remick & Gendron Funeral Home in New Hampshire confirmed Fudge’s passing to the AP. The cause of death has not been released.
His death was also confirmed by National Geographic, which mourned his “untimely loss” in a statement. Duffy was the first-mate on Captain Tyler McLaughlin’s fishing boat, the Pinwheel.
“Duffy was the first mate on Captain Tyler McLaughlin’s fishing vessel, Pinwheel. We join his family and friends in mourning his untimely loss,” the statement read.
.@NatGeoChannel and @Pilgrim_Studios were saddened to learn that Wicked Tuna cast member Nicholas “Duffy” Fudge passed away this week. Duffy was the first mate on Captain Tyler McLaughlin’s fishing vessel, Pinwheel. We join his family and friends in mourning his untimely loss. pic.twitter.com/Cw8Q8JKQHn
— Wicked Tuna (@WickedTuna) July 23, 2018
Reality TV fisherman dies “unexpectedly”
An obituary posted on the funeral home’s website said that he died “unexpectedly” on Thursday.
Fudge appeared on “Wicked Tuna,” which follows the crews of several tuna boats off the coast of Gloucester, Massachusetts as they attempt to catch bluefin tuna, which can fetch tens of thousands. He also appeared in a spin-off, “Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks.”
The network announced a moment of silence for Fudge on Twitter while its July 22 episode aired.
Passionate about fishing, environment
A Massachusetts native, Fudge “excelled in any sport he played” growing up, but “fishing and the outdoors” were his biggest passions. Fudge was introduced to tuna fishing at a young age by his father and grandfather.
His skills as a fisherman made him nationally competitive, earning him a spot on “Wicked Tuna” for multiple seasons. He was also passionate about protecting the environment and “took seriously his responsibility to protect it.”
His family remembered him for his charisma, which could “light up any room,” and “his smile, his fearlessness, his adventurous spirit, his mischievous sense of humor, and giving big hugs.” He is survived by his parents, a “younger” brother, girlfriend, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and “many, many friends.”
The family asked for donations to a memorial fund, which will go toward environmental protection.