'Deadliest Catch' Captain Dies

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Phil Harris, the fishing boat captain who starred in the Discovery Channel's reality show Deadliest Catch died Tuesday. The 53-year-old suffered a stroke last month while his crew was unloading crab. An outpouring of sympathy and eulogistic remembrances have followed news of Harris's death. The popular show, which exposes the crab fishing industry in Alaska, filmed five seasons.

  • The Quintessential Captain, writes Mandi Bierly at Entertainment Weekly: "Phil was great because he was exactly what we thought a captain would be: Frequently swearing, chain-smoking, and stressing; a teller of tales with a fondness for pranks; a gruff man who’d choose to stay with his ship even when his doctors said it was dangerous; and a softie who’d turn almost poetic when he reflected on the only job he’d ever known."
  • "Deadliest Catch Finally Gave Us Tragedy—and Now We're Very Sad, mourns an uncharacteristically sincere Brian Moylan at Gawker: "Discovery promised us something akin to the modern gladiator ring, where macho men fight nature and each other and occasionally we get to see a grizzly death. It delivered, but what we got instead was an insightful human drama about the people who toil on the ends of the earth and the struggles they go through to keep a family—surrogate or otherwise—together. Now that death has come for the Deadliest Catch, we are seized with a strange emotion. It's not morbid fascination, it's actual mourning."
  • A Faithful Colleague, writes the his network in a statement: "Discovery mourns the loss of dear friend and colleague Captain Phil Harris.  He was more than someone on our television screen.  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.  We send our thoughts and prayers to Phil's sons Josh and Jake and the Cornelia Marie crew."
  • A Resilient Father, write his sons Josh and Jake Harris: "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."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.