Tony Lara, 50, died early Saturday morning at a private residence in Sturgis, South Dakota, the Bismarck Tribune reports. Officials are waiting on autopsy results to help determine the cause.
Lara was the captain of the Cornelia Marie in 2011. The ship's current crew paid tribute to the former captain on its website, saying he was always there when they needed him.
"He offered his support and his [advice]. He taught and he educated. At the end of the day, Tony made all of us just a little bit better," the tribute continued.
Lara was in Sturgis for the city's annual motorcycle rally, CNN reports.
Some people who knew Lara took to social media to share their condolences:
The rally was one of the deadliest on the roads in history, with 13 reported fatalities in connection with the rally. It was expected to be one of the largest rallies in history, the South Dakota Highway Patrol says.
About a half-dozen people died from "apparent natural causes" during the rally period, the Rapid City Journal says.
Despite deadly incidents on the roads, law enforcement officials in the area reported "no major rally-related incidents," noting there were no shootings, stabbings or other cases of major violence, the Rapid City Journal reports. There were, however, fights, alcohol-related offenses and drug arrests that are often associated with the rally, reports note.