Tony Lara died from an apparent heart attack, according to multiple reports.
The Deadliest Catch star was in South Dakota to attend the annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis. Meade County Sheriff Ron Merwin said Lara went to sleep on Friday night, but never woke up. Now, an autopsy has revealed that Tony died from a heart attack while he was asleep, The Wrap reports. The authorities do not believe drugs and alcohol were a factor in Tony’s death, but toxicology reports have not been made available. His body will be sent back to his home state of Alaska.
The 50-year-old veteran crab catcher, who was found dead in a private home by authorities at 7:47 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, had served as the captain of the Cornelia Marie, featured on the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch. He had originally worked on the boat in the 1990’s and was close friends with Phil Harris, the vessels former captain who sadly died in 2010.
Yesterday we lost a member of the Catch Family. May you RIP Captain Tony Lara! pic.twitter.com/swLleyVUlr
— Deadliest Catch (@DeadliestCatch) August 9, 2015
“Tony was to all of us with the Cornelia Marie a true friend,” Josh Harris, Phil’s son who worked on the fishing vessel, said. “Tony was always there for the Harris Family. He offered his support and his advice. He taught and he educated. At the end of the day, Tony made all of us just a little bit better.”
Saddened to hear of the passing of Capt.,Tony Lara. Top notch chief, great capt.,& even better friend. pic.twitter.com/ezbVaWhVUy
— Capt Keith Colburn (@crabwizard) August 9, 2015
“We’ve lost a member of the ‘Deadliest Catch’ family,” the Discovery Channel said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family in this very sad time.”
Keith Colburn, Lara’s close friend, described him as a hard working fisherman, who appeared to be in overall good health, despite have heart problems a few years back.
“It came as an absolute shock that he had passed away,” Colburn said. “I know Tony had some heart problems a couple of years back, but he didn’t really talk about it much. Tony was a friend for 20 years and my deepest thoughts go out to his family. [Tony was] a really good guy all around, and he had wonderful character.”
[Photo via Twitter/Discovery Channel]