The Discovery Channel announced Tuesday night that Phil Harris, captain of the fishing boat the Cornelia Marie as seen on the Emmy-winning series Deadliest Catch, has died. He was 53. The exact date of his death hadn't been made clear as of last night.
Harris -- known for his gruff demeanor and salty language -- suffered a stroke January 29th while the boat was docked in St. Paul Island, Alaska and was flown to Anchorage for 12 hours of surgery. He reportedly had been showing some signs of improvement prior to his passing. Two years ago, he suffered a health scare when he broke his ribs when his boat was hit by a massive wave, resulting in a punctured lung that caused a pulmonary embolism that almost killed him.
Harris' two sons, Jake and Josh Harris, who work onboard their father's boat, released a statement, saying "It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to our dad. Dad has always been a fighter and continued to be until the end. For us and the crew, he was someone who never backed down. We will remember and celebrate that strength. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers."
The Discovery Channel also released a statement, saying "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. We share our tremendous sadness over this loss with the millions of viewers who followed Phil's every move."
I LOVE this show and am very sad to hear of Phil's passing. :( ~Vanessa