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Old 02-13-2010, 05:01 PM   #1
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Default Phil harris from deadliest catch dies

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Phil Harris, the fishing boat captain whose adventures off the Alaska coast were captured on the television show "Deadliest Catch", has died, the Discovery Channel said Tuesday night. He was 53.

Harris suffered what his family described as a massive stroke on Jan. 29 while the fishing vessel he captained, Cornelia Marie, was in port at St. Paul Island, Alaska. The fisherman was flown to Anchorage for surgery.

The reality show, which has filmed five seasons, has been one of the Discovery Channel's most popular and depicts the crab fishing industry in the dangerous waters off Alaska.

"It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to our dad - Captain Phil Harris. Dad has always been a fighter and continued to be until the end," sons Josh and Jake Harris said in a statement released by the network. "For us and the crew, he was someone who never backed down."

In a statement, Discovery Channel senior vice president Elizabeth Hillman says, "Phil was a devoted father and loyal friend to all who knew him."

"We will miss his straightforward honesty, wicked sense of humor and enormous heart," she said.

Gallery: View pics from 'Deadliest Catch'

Bing: Search for more on the life of Capt. Phil Harris

In an e-mail to The Associated Press, she said no additional information was immediately available Tuesday night.

Harris had seemed to be improving, and in a posting last Saturday on the ship's Web site, he was described as "talking to friends and family today; showing his greatest progress" since the stroke.

His sons wrote in a Feb. 3 posting that "No one ever said Captain Phil Harris wasn't tough. Today, dad showed some good signs of improvement, squeezing our hands and even summoning his trademark Captain's bluntness ... We are encouraged but still very cautious."

According to the ship's Web site, Harris started working on fishing boats at age 7 and started work 10 years later on a crab boat. When Harris turned 21, he ran a fishing vessel out of Seattle, making him one of the youngest to captain a vessel in the Bering Sea.

When Harris suffered the stroke, the family said a friend, Derek Ray, had flown to St. Paul to take over the role of relief skipper for the rest of the opilio crab season.

Harris' fishing vessel was based in Seattle.

Last edited by Bronx33; 02-13-2010 at 05:04 PM..
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:18 PM   #2
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Chris Harris

I saw that episdode, thought they said he only had a blood clot and that it passed and he was ok. Wow, it must have been worse then a clot.
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:47 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ZONA View Post
I saw that episdode, thought they said he only had a blood clot and that it passed and he was ok. Wow, it must have been worse then a clot.
Separate but probably related incidents.
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:56 PM   #4
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Phil was probably my favorite skipper minus ol Sig Hansen. I guess downing Red Bull's, and smoking 6 packs a day isn't real good on your heart. RIP, hope your boys take over your ship.
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:03 PM   #5
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My thoughts and prayers are with his family...
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