Tony Lara Dies: ‘Deadliest Catch’ Captain Found Dead At South Dakota Motorcycle Rally

Tony Lara has died during a motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, the second tragedy to face the Discovery Channel show Deadliest Catch in just the past few weeks.

Authorities say the 50-year-old Lara was found dead early Saturday morning at a home in Sturgis, home of the 2015 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, The Associated Press reported. The exact time and manner of death was not yet announced.

Lara appeared as a crab ship captain on the popular reality show, leading the boat the Cornelia Marie.

As the show’s bio of Lara noted, he has been a veteran of the crab boat long before Discovery Channel cameras started following them.

“Tony worked on the boat for 10 years in the 1990’s and ran the Cornelia Marie during salmon tendering. A good friend of Phil’s, he also helped build much of the boat when it was originally fitted for crabbing, and he has the engine room memorized. He knows the Cornelia Marie inside and out.”

“What he may be less familiar with is the dynamic of the crew — he knows Jake and Josh, but hasn’t fished with them, and hasn’t run a crab boat since 2001. Tony says he wants to provide some ‘stability’ for the Harris brothers, and doesn’t see many problems arising in the Cornelia Marie‘s short Opie season. He just wants to catch come crab and bring them home.”

The cause of death for Tony Lara has not yet been determined. Meade County Sheriff Ron Merwin said he is waiting on autopsy results to know more about the death of the Deadliest Catch star.

Lara’s death comes just three weeks after the murder of Deadliest Catch producer Joe McMahon. The 25-year-old McMahon was killed in front of his Pasadena, California home on July 24. Police said they found McMahon’s body outside with multiple gunshot wounds.

Police identified the murder suspect as 24-year-old Brandon Rafiepour, who knew McMahon. Rafiepour was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot.

At the time the Discovery Channel released a statement about the death of McMahon.

“We are heartsick about this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and to all that knew and worked with him.”

An autopsy was scheduled for Tony Lara on Monday. The results have not yet been released.

[Image via Discovery Channel]

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