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'Deadliest Catch' crewman found dead as tragedy again strikes Discovery Channel hit

February 23, 2011 |  4:06 pm

Justin Tennison (2)
Justin Tennison, a 34-year-old crew member on a vessel featured on Discovery Channel's hit "The Deadliest Catch," was found dead Tuesday in an Alaska hotel room. 

Tennison worked as an engineer on the Time Bandit, a fishing vessel led by Andy Hillstrand and his brother Johnathan.

A Reuters report said that Tennison died of unknown causes. Gossip site TMZ reported police found drugs in his room, although an autopsy has not yet determined the cause of death.

Andy Hillstrand's Facebook page offered a tribute: "Justin was tough as a bull and was an all-around good hand. The Captains and Crew appreciated his hard work and many contributions this past year. We will miss him terribly and wish his family all the best during this most difficult time."  Justintennison

In a statement, the network said: "Discovery Channel is saddened by the passing of Time Bandit crew member Justin Tennison.  We send our sympathies to his entire family and fellow crew members during this most difficult time." 

Tennison's death is the second tragedy to afflict "Deadliest Catch" in as many years. Last year, Capt. Phil Harris died after a stroke, which led to a highly rated episode of the series.

-- Scott Collins (Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT)

Photos: (top) The Time Bandit crew, with Tennison second from right. Credit: Discovery Networks. (Bottom) An undated photo of Tennison. Credit: Andy Hillstrand

 

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