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  • Captain Phil Harris, best known from the Discovery Channel's reality TV series Deadliest Catch, developed a line of coffees called "Captain's Reserve"?

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Phil Harris
Born December 19, 1956(1956-12-19)[1]
Bothell, Washington, U.S.A.[2]
Died February 9, 2010 (aged 53)
Anchorage, Alaska, U.S.A.
Occupation Captain of the F/V Cornelia Marie

Phil Harris (December 19, 1956 – February 9, 2010) was part owner and captain of the crab fishing vessel Cornelia Marie, which is featured on the Discovery Channel reality TV series Deadliest Catch. He suffered a stroke while offloading crab in port at Saint Paul Island, Alaska on January 29, 2010, and died on February 9, 2010.[1][3][4]

Harris once stated, "You're not a man 'til you've pulled a tooth out with a pair of pliers."[5]



Harris began fishing with his father at age 7 and after high school began crab fishing. He initially worked on a crab boat unpaid until he proved his worth. By the time he was 21 he was one of the youngest captains of a crab fishing boat on the Bering Sea. He had been the captain of the Cornelia Marie for more than 20 years at the time of his death.

Beginning in 2005 and continuing until his death, Harris and his boat were followed by an embedded film crew for the series, Deadliest Catch. The Cornelia Marie was first shown during the search for survivors of the Big Valley in the first season of the series, but became a regular fixture of the show from the second season on. During the 2008 season, Harris was thrown from his bunk during a storm and thought he had broken his ribs. However, after coughing up blood for hours, his sons and crew convinced him to seek medical attention and enlisted the film crew to watch his condition. He was determined to have suffered a pulmonary embolism and ongoing medical treatment kept him from fishing for almost a year. He returned to fishing in January 2009.

Some of Harris' sea stories were included in the book Deadliest Catch: Desperate Hours. In 2008, Harris developed a line of coffees, "Captain's Reserve", with blends named after fishing themes such as "Harris Family Blend" and "Midnight Sunrise"[6]

During the 6th opilio crab season of Deadliest Catch, Harris suffered a massive stroke on January 29, 2010 while harbored in St. Paul Island, Alaska. He was flown to Anchorage for surgery, and was placed in an induced coma to reduce cranial blood pressure and swelling. He awoke from the coma after his condition had improved. He was squeezing hands, talking, and showing other signs of improvement[7] but died on Tuesday night, February 9, 2010. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered at sea.[8]

His sons Jacob and Joshua issued a statement for the Harris family, saying, "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. 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."[9]

Personal life

Harris was unmarried at the time of his death, but had been married and divorced twice.[10][11] He raised two sons, Joshua and Jacob Harris, who also worked on board his fishing vessel, Cornelia Marie, as deckhands. His hometown was Seattle, Washington. He loved going fast and owned both a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and a Chevrolet Corvette.[12] Besides driving fast and fishing he also enjoyed building birdfeeders.[13]


  1. ^ a b "Capt. Phil, A Celebration Of Life". 2010-02-21. Retrieved 2010-02-21. 
  2. ^ "Celebrity Drive: Phil, Josh, and Jake Harris of Discovery's "Deadliest Catch"". 
  3. ^ Hevesi, Dennis (2010-02-10). "Phil Harris, Crusty Captain on ‘Deadliest Catch,’ Dies at 53". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-02-11. 
  4. ^ Teresa Blackman. "Capt. in reality TV's 'Deadliest Catch' dies after stroke". KGW. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  5. ^ Words to Live By, Deadliest Catch, Season 3, Episode 5, "Bering Sea Salvation,"
  6. ^ Captain's Brew company website
  7. ^ Burgess, Kelly (2010-02-03). "Capt. Phil Harris, of 'Deadliest Catch,' shows improvement after suffering stroke". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  8. ^ D'Zurilla, Christie (2010-02-09). "Ministry of Gossip The gospel on celebrity and pop culture « Previous Post / Ministry of Gossip Home / Next Post » 'Deadliest Catch' captain Phil Harris dies after recent stroke". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  9. ^ "'Deadliest Catch' Captain Phil Harris dies". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2010-02-12. 
  10. ^ "Captain Phil Harris Dies at 53 | The Outside Blog". 2010-02-11. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  11. ^ "Alaska's crab fishermen go prime time". Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  12. ^ "Phil, Josh, and Jake Harris of Discovery's "Deadliest Catch" Celebrity Drive". Motor Trend. 2007-02-26. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  13. ^ "Discovery Livechat with Phil and Josh Harris of the F/V Cornelia Marie « DEADLIEST REPORTS". 2007-05-25. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 

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