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Eddie Uwekoolani hung out with his second cousin — and Deadliest Catch co-star — Justin Tennison the night before his body was found in an Alaska hotel room.
“That evening, he came down to the boat about 10 o’clock, and I had one drink with him and took off to my house with my grandson and son, and next morning called to find out if he was coming to work. I never got a hold of him. I texted him. I just thought he didn’t make it to work,” Uwekoolani tells ABC News.
UPDATE: Justin Tennison Remembered in ‘Deadliest Catch’ Finale (Video)
On Tuesday afternoon, a concerned crew member swung by the hotel to check in on Tennison.
“The manager said they found Justin nonresponsive on the bed, not breathing, so she called the cops and they came down,” said Uwekoolani, who helped Tennison get his job on the ship.
Police found beer, hard liquor and a small amount of marijuana in his hotel room, Homer police Lt. Randy Rosencrans told The Associated Press. An autopsy is being conducted to determine his cause of death.
STORY: ‘Deadliest Catch’ Co-star Recalls Justin Tennison’s Last Moments Alive
Hotel staff would not comment on what happened in the hotel that night, but TMZ.com reported Tennison may have had a party.
Tennison and Uwekoolani had discussed their last wishes.
“We’ve talked about … how living in a high-risk job you never know. His last wishes were to be cremated and taken out to the water for one long trip,” Uwekoolani said. “He loved Alaska. He loved hunting and fishing and everything about it. He loved his kids tremendously.”
Uwekoolani points out that it’s been less than a year since captain Phil Harris died.
STORY: ‘Deadliest Catch’ Co-Stars on Justin Tennison: ‘Tough as a Bull’
“We’ve had a rough year. Phil Harris died. The boys been having some trouble, the Cornelia boys. … I don’t know if we’re all getting too relaxed or enjoying the movie part, but … everybody is watching their health now,” he said.
The captain and crew of the Time Bandit posted a message on their website Wednesday: “Justin was tough as a bull and was an all-around good hand. … We will miss him terribly and wish his family all the best during this most difficult time.”
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