Deadliest Catch: Whatever Happened To Freddy?

Who would have bet in 2005 that a show about catching crabs would endure for another 18 years? But Discovery's "Deadliest Catch" was still going in 2023, bringing viewers fresh exploits of fishermen working in the Bering Sea to bring in crabs and cod. The show's frank look at the rough conditions of the job and its toll on the people who do it has won praise even from reality TV critics, and a number of ships, captains, and crewmates have made a splash (no pun intended) during their time on the series.

One standout is Freddy Maugatai, an on-off member of the "Deadliest Catch" cast. He first appeared in 2008 and quickly gathered a fan following for his outsized personality and fearless risk-taking. Some of his memorable exploits include drinking the blood of a fresh-caught cod as a good luck ritual, jumping overboard into freezing water to tangle with a walrus, almost getting crushed during a deck malfunction, and getting into a fight with a new crew member.

Maugatai's first stint on "Deadliest Catch" came to an end in 2011. And though he's made several appearances since, there's been more going on in his life than crab fishing. Here's what happened to Maugatai in the years since he first came to the series.

He got into legal trouble after being fired

Freddy Maugatai was fired from "Deadliest Catch" in 2011. He was deep into drinking and holding up his boat's cast-off time. The captain, tired of waiting, dismissed Maugatai, hired a new crewmate, and put Maugatai's personal effects overboard on the dock before pulling out. The incident found its way into an episode of the show (above). In a return appearance, Maugatai explained that he had gotten an upset call from his pregnant wife earlier that day, asking him to come home. He also said it had been 21 years since he'd drank like that before a job.

The year after he was let go, Maugatai was arrested for assault. TMZ reported that the deckhand got into a fight with a man at the Grand Aleutian Hotel that ended with the pair scuffling in the bathroom. When the man's wife tried to help her husband, she claimed that Maugatai pushed her out of the way. Police said they found bruising and swelling on her arm. Maugatai maintained he acted in self-defense after being punched in the face and did not touch the man's wife. A judge ordered him to stay away from the pair — and the hotel.

He still works in Alaska — but isn't there all the time

Captain Keith Colburn told Discovery that Freddy Maugatai wanted to come back to his ship, the Wizard, "in the worst way" after being fired (via YouTube). As the man who had fired him was Colburn's brother, Colburn didn't feel he could take Maugatai back on. But he did ask the captain of the Time Bandit if he had room for another deckhand. Not long after, Colburn said, Maugatai's presence had vastly improved the work done on the other ship.

Maugatai has been on and off the cast of "Deadliest Catch" since 2011. His most recent appearance was in 2023, working as the deck boss of the Time Bandit. Even after all these years, he can still be a magnet for dangerous incidents, as the episode featuring his 50th birthday celebration demonstrates. Per Yahoo! Entertainment, a prank saw the crew crush eggs over Maugatai's head, coat him in flour, and light up a flare to turn him into a human birthday cake. Unfortunately, no one realized flour was flammable, and Maugatai briefly caught on fire.

A native Samoan, Maugatai spends part of his year in Alaska for work, but he isn't there all the time. His Instagram is filled with photos and videos from his trips back to family in far warmer climates. He regularly shows himself relaxing, working out, picking produce, and yes, even fishing.