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Nicholas ‘Duffy’ Fudge, star of ‘Wicked Tuna,’ dead at 28

"Wicked Tuna" cast member Nicholas "Duffy" Fudge was the first mate on Captain Tyler McLaughlin's fishing vessel, Pinwheel.

Nicholas S. “Duffy” Fudge, a cast member on National Geographic Channel’s reality series about commercial tuna fisherman called “Wicked Tuna,” died last week at age 28.

National Geographic confirmed Fudge’s death Monday in statement saying the network and Pilgrim Studios, which produces the show, were “saddened” to learn of his passing.

“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 said.

Fudge died “unexpectedly” on Thursday, July 19, 2018, according to an obituary posted on the Remick & Gendron Funeral Home website. No cause of death was announced.

Fudge appeared on both ‘Wicked Tuna” and the show’s spin-off, “Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks.”

Fudge’s obituary says he had a passion for the outdoors and began fishing as a child with his father and grandfather.

“Nick also treasured the environment and he took seriously his responsibility to protect it,” the obituary says. “He was known for his smile, his fearlessness, his adventurous spirit, his mischievous sense of humor, and giving big hugs.”

Fudge’s family has asked that donations be made to a memorial fund, with proceeds benefiting environmental preservation.