by Free Britney at

Deadliest Catch star Elliott Neese was conspicuously missing from the Season 9 premiere, causing fans (and cast members) to wonder about his whereabouts.

Elliott Neese Photo

Scott Campbell, Jr., a.k.a. Junior, the captain of the Seabrooke, was quoted saying about the MIA star: "Elliot should be here. He should be ready to go."

Northwestern captain Sig Hansen had a different take:

"In all honesty, I’m kinda not surprised Elliott isn't here this year … No owner is going to let a guy run a boat and not produce. You're going to lose your job."

It's no secret Neese had a hard time of it last season, struggling at sea and back on land. But absent from Deadliest Catch with no explanation at all?

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