'Wicked Tuna' Star Nicholas 'Duffy' Fudge Arrested for DWI Months Before Death

Months before his death, Wicked Tuna cast member Nicholas "Duffy" Fudge was in trouble with the law.

The National Geographic Channel personality was arrested for suspicion of driving while intoxicated on March 28 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the Portsmouth Police Department confirmed to PEOPLE, and first reported by Radar.

Police records obtained by the publication showed that a caller reported a possible drunk driver, resulting in Fudge being stopped and arrested by an officer under suspicion of disobeying an officer, driving while intoxicated and after suspension and resisting arrest. He was also cited for crossing a solid line and allegedly having an open container of alcohol.

Fudge's case was still under investigation because he hadn't been adjudicated yet.

The reality personality unexpectedly died Sunday at the age of 28, the show announced on social media the same day, writing, "We join his family and friends in mourning his untimely loss." No cause of death has been made available at this time.

According to his obituary, the first mate on Capt. Tyler McLaughlin's boat "was known for his smile, his fearlessness, his adventurous spirit, his mischievous sense of humor, and giving big hugs."

"His passions were fishing and the outdoors. As a child, Nick began tuna fishing with his father and grandfather. After becoming one of the top sport fishermen in the country, he earned a place on the National Geographic reality show Wicked Tuna for multiple seasons. Nick also treasured the environment and he took seriously his responsibility to protect it," the tribute continued.

The cause of Fudge's death has not been released, but his colleagues told a New Hampshire Union Leader reporter Kimberly Haas Monday that it could have been due to decompression sickness, also known as "the bends."

Some of the symptoms of the condition include fatigue, rashes, itching, pulmonary or lung decompression sickness, Neurological Decompression Sickness and swollen lymph glands, as well as "the staggers," which can include spinning sensation, ringing in the ears or vomiting.

Fudge appeared on the hit National Geographic show Wicked Tuna, which launched in April 2012 and showed the lives of extreme fishermen in Massachusetts. The show's seventh season ended in June. In 2014, the network launched a spin-off, Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks, which is set in North Carolina.


Photo credit: Twitter/Wicked Tuna