Captain Phil Harris of the Discovery Channel TV show Deadliest Catch died last night, reports the cable channel. “Dad has always been a fighter and continued to be until the end,” said his sons, Jake and Josh Harris. “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.”
Captain Phil suffered a stroke while off-loading from the Cornelia Marie in Alaska on January 30th. His death came as a surprise to many — last Saturday, he was “talking to friends and family today; showing his greatest progress,” reported a blog post on the ship’s website.
Captain Phil began working on fishing boats at age 7, and when he turned 21, he ran a vessel out of Fishermen’s Terminal, making him one of the youngest to captain a boat in the Bering Sea. Ballard has long been a hangout for Deadliest Catch captains and crew, and Captain Phil has appeared at several local events over the years. You can learn more about his life and legacy on his website.