Sunday Shorts “Safe Passage”

21 Feb

Every Sunday we will be posting some of the Fly Fishing Media Noir found on the web of worldwide fly fishing madness.

02/21/2010: I know it’s been a few days since his passing but after watching a few re-runs on the Boob-Tube I want to put up a few videos of Captain Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie STAR of the show Deadliest Catch.                                   

Capt. Phil Harris stood tall, liked to bark orders, had tattoos all over his arms and, fittingly, cursed like a sailor. In short, the Seattle native was a one-of-a-kind character and the perfect subject for Discovery’s hit show about crab fisherman, ‘Deadliest Catch.’ 

Discovery announced Feb 9th that Captain Phil Harris, known to fans of Deadliest Catch as captain of the crab fishing vessel Cornelia Maria, has died. He suffered a stroke late last month while in port off-loading at St. Paul Island in Alaska. “He was more than someone on our TV screen,” according to a statement from the network, which has documented the Cornelia Marie’s adventures on the Bering Sea for five seasons on the Emmy-winning series. “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.”

You only need to go back to how it all began to appreciate the man. In the show’s first season, one of the ‘Catch’ boats, the Big Valley, sank and took nearly all of the crew with her. Harris joined the rescue effort to find his fallen comrades, which attracted the attention of the show’s producers. After that, he and the Cornelia Marie became one of the show’s favorites and introduced fans to Harris and his two sons, Jake and Josh.

This week, it’s come to light that ‘Catch’ camera crews were there “the entire time” during the captain’s final days, from when he suffered the stroke to his hospital stay. The Harris family will decide whether any of the footage will make it to air, but according to ‘Catch’ producer Thom Beers, Harris told the cameraman to keep rolling while he was on his death-bed because “we need a great finish” to the show.

According to Beers, Harris told the doctors and nurses that were treating him, “Don’t fuck up.”

The Harris family is mourning in private and sons Josh and Jake reportedly plan to spread their dad’s ashes out on the Bering Sea during crab season this fall. A fitting farewell to a man of the sea.



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