Discovery’s Deadliest Catch follows one of the most dangerous professions depicted on television. The life of a crab fisherman is not only dangerous, but deadly. Fishermen have to deal with harsh weather climates and homesickness. They also have to exercise patience and strength as they wait for big hauls during crabbing season. Thus, it’s no wonder that the show’s official site describes the cast of the Deadliest Catch as having “the world’s deadliest job.”
One cast member who has personally experienced major loss while filming the show is Josh Harris, who along with his brother Jake Harris, was thrust into the crab fishing world by their dad Phil on Season 2 of Deadliest Catch, per Distractify. Unfortunately, after five seasons on the show, Phil tragically died after he suffered a stroke on his boat Cornelia Marie in January 2020. Here’s what we know about the moments leading up to Phil’s death.
Josh Harris' father, Phil Harris, 'enjoyed' his last few moments with family
Before his tragic death on Feb. 9, 2010, Phil Harris suffered a massive stroke the week prior while off-loading crab on his boat, People reported. His engineer on Cornelia Marie, Steve Ward, found him unresponsive on the floor of his room and immediately asked Phil’s son, Josh Harris, to call 911. “The whole left side of his face was in paralysis, and that was hard,” Josh told the outlet. “He couldn’t move his arms or anything, he was just paralyzed on the floor.”
Phil was then transferred to a hospital where he underwent a long operation and was placed into a medically induced coma. Doctors were not optimistic about his ability to regain consciousness, but Phil “fought against all odds,” and woke up to spend his last days with his family, according to People. “I got five days to actually talk with him,” Josh said. “We had nine days total that we were there to enjoy a few moments with him. We had our closest people there and it was awesome. “
After his father’s death, Josh and his brother Jake Harris took over ownership of Cornelia Marie, which Phil encouraged. “I’m going to be looking at that [captain’s] chair in a different way,” Josh recalled after his father’s death. “…That’s definitely something where I would take over and take the responsibility.”
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