Capt. Phil of the F/V Cornelia Marie

In an article titled, Brushes with Death Standard for ‘Deadliest Catch’ Star, written by Rodney Ho of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Capt Phil Harris of the F/V Cornelia Marie gives details on his major brush that took place during the last season.  God bless him, his family, and the entourage of people who came to his assistance and pulled him through what must have been a horrific experience!  (Photo is courtesy of Discovery)

…Broken ribs, broken wrists, broken arms, broken back.

For Phil Harris, that’s standard fare trolling the Alaskan seas for snow and Alaskan crab, a lifestyle chronicled in Discovery Channel’s most successful series to date, “Deadliest Catch.”

to Atlanta last week to meet with advertisers and media, including a lunch at the downtown Hooters. “It takes me 20 minutes to get out of bed every morning. I’ve had Marines come on the boat. They say this makes boot camp look like a picnic.”

The name “Deadliest Catch” is no exaggeration. Pro fishermen have one of the highest mortality rates of any profession. In fact, one of Harris’ workers once fell out of his boat and died. Tumbling into the chilly Alaskan waters is pretty much a death sentence, he said. The tradeoff: fishing is lucrative. You can earn well into the six figures — if you can survive the lifestyle.

Harris has, often clearing $500,000 a year. He owns a huge lakeside home in Seattle, two Harleys and a $100,000 Z06 Corvette. He gets five months off a year. As captain of the Cornelia Marie for 17 years, the 51-year-old ranks in the top five in volume among the 70 boats that vie for crab. (Ironically, Harris hates eating Alaskan snow crab, which is featured on the Hooters menu with the note “dangerous to catch, fun to eat.”)

And while Harris no longer has to do the heavy lifting anymore — his two sons help him out — he is hardly immune to injury. In a scene to be shown later this season, a monster wave pummeled his boat in January, causing him to fall out of his bunk. He punctured a lung and broke his ribs. But his condition worsened after a blood clot dislodged from his leg and traveled to his heart.

Harris almost died from a pulmonary aneurysm, and the remains of the clot are still life-threatening.

“I’m eating massive amounts of medicine” to break down the clot, he says. “I take them every day and pray.”

Then, turning to the Discovery publicist, Harris says mischievously, “You know what the ratings would have been if I had died? Hot diggity dog! He’s a dead man!”

Make the jump and read the rest!

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50 Responses to Capt. Phil of the F/V Cornelia Marie

  1. Tammie says:

    Hi there , last week when you called out for fishing help and nobody would pick up it piss me off a little I don,t no if that the way it works if so that sucks.I hope you are doing better now you really worried me last week. all of you be safe out thier.

  2. Bryce of michigan says:

    Phil when you asked for help last week and no one would help i was pissed off i almost shut off the TV but i didnt so I hear you made some other capt.’s mad and that is why they didnt help well to bad you helped Blake that useless piece of crap last season and being the best CAPTAIN on the bearing sea iam sure you have helped other capt.’s before too also i heard that you have a big head is why they were mad well that is because you are the best on the sea so dont let the romors get to ya and get well soon i will be praying for you some day i would love to meet you Bryce

  3. Wendy says:

    I’m still worrying about you falling out of the bunk and frickin up your ribs and wrist and stuff. The major thing I read about was the embolism, which is not good shit. Thank you for writing me back about a week ago. I’m still hot for you, Captain — don’t know why, but I like you. But, I don’t want to see ANY of our crab boys get hurt or be sick or anything. So, please get well, and keep an eye on your leg. That’s bad stuff. Meanwhile, I’m STILL trying to download that music track from your site. Excellent choice of music! Just can’t get it downloaded. Take care, and I know I’m not familiar with when you fish for what or take your breaks, but I’m hoping you’re resting up now. I’m thinking the snow crab season is over now, so if you’re not fishing brown crabs, then maybe you’re resting up. I hope you’re not in the hospital. Take care, Captain. Sincerely, Wendy Allen and the Pups.

  4. greg says:

    hope all is wel you crazy mf’er

  5. Sean says:

    What a job to have, I would love to work on your boat. Just saw the episode where Phil got sick, I know he`s doing better now, but damn dude take care of yourself, your one hell of a CAPTAIN!!!!! I`ll throw a hook for you anytime!

  6. David says:

    I saw the episide where you got hurt tonight and it really bothered me. I had to hit the internet to find out how you’re doing.

    I can understand how your kids were feeling on the boat. I lost my dad 12/23/97, the day after I found out he was hospitalized and no one expected him to go. I can’t even remember if I told my dad “See ya later” or “Love ya”. Things like that still bother me. Seeing you go through thiswhile trying to keeps your kids from knowing, while understandable, still bothered me.

    Take care of your self. Fair winds


  7. Joyce says:

    Hi, Phil – Saw the episode last night /6/25 (I live in Bellevue) where you got sick. Really scary! Not my practice to be blogging, etc., its easy to sit back from our comfortable charis and say this or that. Life experiences and feelings are pretty universal when it comes right down to it, I think. Family expectations or indictments have a huge impac on all of us. Trying to live down those little “love” notes can kill ya, and I much suspect that most people have experienced the same thing one way or another. Sure hope now that you, with the support and love of so many friends and family, have seen that all feel YOU ARE ENOUGH! and truly would be terribly sad and miss you if anything happened to you. Truly hope you are taking the best care of yourself Somehow the universe with your cooperation will see that everything works out in your best interest.!

    With sincere best wishes for your complete recovery and a future healthy life— mind, body, and spirit!


  8. jen says:

    I have never been compelled to do something like this, until seeing last nights episode. I was moved to tears, out of worry for your well being, and your protection of your sons. I have followed Deadliest Catch since the beginning, and you are my absolute favorite Captain! (followed verrrry closely by those happy-go-lucky Hillstrand brothers :). You are so obviously loved by your boys, your crew and lord only knows how many fans. Please take care of yourself and happy crabbing! Since danger is your game, if you ever make it to Iowa, I promise you a ride in a top-of-the-line John Deere combine! (haha). Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your life at sea.

  9. Linda says:

    Phil…….I am worried!!!!
    I tear up when I think of what we watched lastnight.
    I lost my father three yrs ago to lung cancer.
    My husband & I (50’s & now non-smokers) admire your work ethics (he is just like you) your a good hard working man with a big heart.
    Just realize people want you in this life becasue you are loved, valued and worthy of it. It’s not all about the money Phil !! So go and do the right thing!!! Work on getting heathly ……what ever it takes.
    Sent with love and prayers. 🙂

  10. LINDA says:


  11. Shelly says:

    Capt. Phil,
    So glad to read your doing well. No other reality show has gripped the heart of people as much as Deadliest Catch. I know it’s crazy, but I felt compelled to check that you were ok. I feared cancer, and what you have is almost as bad. I hope you get better soon, and wish you all the best. Your family seems so close and it touched my heart in regards to your concern for your young sons. May you have calm seas and great fishing in your future. Regards, Shelly

  12. SHEILA MARIE says:


  13. Jo says:

    I caught a portion of the show and with the symptoms you were having my thoughts were yicks that guy is in trouble
    Stubborn and too dam tough for your own good
    You need a nurse on board to see to all of you
    So i had to look you up to see that you were still with us
    I am glad to know that you made it
    I am amazed at the life you live on the sea
    I can only hope your time off is a happy time for you
    What a wonderful show


    Captain Phil, my husband and I will continue to pray for you and send our love. We never miss a show and buy the DVD’s. We admire the courage it takes to do this hard work. We will never eat crab again without thanking the men that make it possible. Be strong, have patience and follow the advice of your doctors! We all need you around for a long time.
    Our best regards
    Ardyce and Mary

  15. Mike and Kim says:

    Captain Phil wishing you the best on a speedy recovery, wishing you and your crew the best. Thought and prayers are with you and your family. We will be watching you on your journey through life.
    Cornelia Marie is the best, wished we had crab fishing in Michigan
    Best Regards
    Mike and Kim

  16. danny woods says:

    capt.phil, wanted you to know, people on aquidneck island.are praying for a full recovery for you. our thoughts are with you. may the road rise to meet you, and the wind be allways at your back. may the sun shine warm upon your face,and the rains fall soft upon your fields. and until we meet again may god hold you all in the hollow of his hand. a freind in portsmouth. rhode island. dannywoods

  17. Jennifer says:

    Captain Phil,

    I wish you the best with you health. We did not know my husband had blood clots from his ankle all the way up his leg and they said it went higher but they could not scan there to find out. They pulled me off to the side and said he had about two hours left before he would have died. My stepson is dealing with the same thing in the same leg and has thrown a large amount of small clots. My husband only threw one that scared the back of his heart. My good friend/co-worker/doctor passed away not too long ago from blood clots. He just fell to the floor and there was nothing that could be down because the clot cut everything off to the heart. This was a very sad day because he was a great doctor and very well liked and loved by all. After that I made my husband get another check on his leg and we found out that he still has one clot left in his leg and I am happy to report they say it is locked down and will not move. When I watched the show and saw you caughing up blood I was worried about what was going on with you. Then when you called into the boat and said you have blood clots I was very worried because of what my family is still going through because of the blood clots. I am glad God was with you and you were able to get help. I wish you the best and I pray that you will get better soon. I also wish you and your kids great crab fishing. I am always hoping your boat brings in the most crab.

    My best to you,
    Jennifer Kizer

  18. Susan McAteer says:

    Phil: I live in Portland, Oregon and have worked as a House Director (House Mom) up at the Univ. of Washington in Seattle. I envy you your passion for fishing and being so good at it. I can’t find a job now, have no housing (staying at a mid-sized hotel and about to live in my car), no liquid cash. I am a little older than you, but this is a miserable way to live!.

    I watch you on Deadliest Catch and see a man who can be a tough guy but yet I see a big heart. If I was a guy I would work for you first, then the Hillstrands, Andy and John. I was worried sick about you as I thought you had cancer at first, or pneumonia or some other crummy things. A blood clot never entered my mind. I am so thankful that you survived and I wish you and your sons the best. You are a superb Captain and well as a good man. I wish I could meet you but I am allergic to cigarette smoke. Too bad, as it would have been nice to meet you and fun too. Take care, we need you around and your boys need you too. You are quite loved, do you know that??

    Take care and take your medications and do what the doctor tells you to do. Good fishing!

  19. Gara says:

    Mr. Phil-It is good to know that you are improving. In
    1995 my husband suffered from the same thing-the
    clot passed through the heart and lodged in his lung. As he was already in the hospital, my phone call came
    at 3am to get back to his bedside as he wasn’t going to make it. The doctors kept him heavily sedated and
    decided it was much to risky to try surgery, so they put a “bird cage” into the artery in his neck and threaded it through his heart where it still rests to catch any more blood clots that should come loose. It is now 2008 and he is fine. He was on cumadin forever. so when you made your remark about ‘bleeding to death from a stubbed toe’
    I could truly relate. Pretty scary stuff . You have managed to touch my heart in so many ways that I just wanted you to know you, and your sons, are in my
    prayers. Tomorrow does come.

  20. Janelle says:

    Capt. Phil, I know you get tired of people telling you to quit smoking. So I want to tell too. But I wish you would. Been praying for you to get well.. Love “Deadly Catch”.
    Your Fan,

  21. joyce sullivan says:

    capt phil i seen the show where you broke your ribs,i felt bad for you and you son i just lost my husband from lung cancer in feb 08 and my son is 25 so i knew how worried you son was.god bless your boat and all of youll on glad your feelin safe out there and god bless

  22. kiesha says:

    I hope you pull through and get your life right with the
    Lord Jesus Christ. I really enjoy your show and your son Jake is very hot!!(good job!) You hang in there and
    do whatever the Drs. say to do.

  23. Corinne Bernardy says:

    I saw you on After The Catch II last night. You look good!! I noticed that you were not smoking. I hope you have quit. I hope your boys quit smoking too!!
    Enough lecturing… know what you gotta do… just do it!
    Love ya,

  24. Christine says:

    It was good to see capt phil on, After the Catch.” I’ve had someone close me die from lung cancer. She smoked for years until she find she had cancer. Hopefully, everything works our for the best. Love the show.

  25. Lorna (Puerto Rico) says:

    Phil, darling, quit smoking, take care of your self and follow all your doctor recomendations. Because a fine, good looking man as you must be on that show all tuesdays. Good bless you.

  26. Corinne says:

    Phil actually didn’t puncture a lung OR break any ribs – the visit at the clinic once he was back in Harbor showed that. However, that fall he took after the wave hit is what caused his bloot clot to break loose, thus the coughing up blood.

    Phil, I’m VERY thankful you’re – well, that you didn’t die! 🙂 My family loves the show, and your boat is one of our favorites – we’re pulling for you to be healthy & happy, and if that’s on the CM, then so be it. God Bless!

  27. Beth says:

    Dear Phil
    Watching these last few episodes of deadliest catch has been real hard for me. My father
    had a blood clot in his lung in january of 96.
    My first grandson was born in 97, exactly a year after
    nearly losing my dad.My dad did pass away in may
    of 2005.My second grandson was born in june of 2006.

  28. bernie carle says:

    Phil. I hope you are doing better, I have faced the leg blood clots 3 times and lived, but i’m stupid , I still smoke and drink gallons of coffee.

    You are quite a bit younger than me, give up the smokes and take care of yourself. You seem to be a great guy.

    Good luck

  29. edlua says:

    phil my husband and i think about you daily and pray you are doing much better you are one great guy please take care of yourself and you can count on joshfrom what i see linda from delaware

  30. Wanda says:

    Captain Phil,
    I love to watch Deadliest Catch, I record every show. Please take care of yourself, your boys need you and the show needs you!
    I was looking for an update on your condition but I haven’t found anything!

    Please Take Care!


  31. Richard Artus says:

    Good luck with the difficulties life hands us Phil. From one Capt to another!


  32. Bob says:

    Cpt Phil, Never blogged before in my life but here I am. The show got me through many sleepless nights while recovering from heart failure and leavng my crew behing in Iraq. I was worried about them and they too were worried out the old (47yrs) man. In the end, people step up and the job gets done, we take our meds and life goes on. Thought I was hooked on smokes for life, but now I am hooked on the show. Everyone is home now and enjoying summer in Montana taling about the next dedployment. I am looking forward to the next season and the Cornelia Marie. Best of luck to you and your crew

  33. Anne Hopkins says:

    Hi, Capt. Phi, I’m new to this computer stuff, so bare with me. My husband and I watched the show religiously, as well as golf , NASCAR, and poker. He knew I had a big crush on you and everytime your show started he’d yell out “Hey, get in here, your boyfriend’s on TV” He died in June of 08 and I miss hearing him tease me about you. I’m not able to watch the other TV shows any longer but I’m drawn to the Deadliest Catch. This was our favorite show, you in particular. I, too, won’t lecture you, you know what you need to do….my husband waited to long and he paid with his life. I still have a huge crush on you and I’ll continue to watch, even the reruns. I hope and pray you’ll return next year. And I’ll still my husband’s voice telling me you’re on TV! God bless and take care!


  34. Rosie says:

    Hope you have a speedy recovery! All the best from Surrey BC

  35. Tami says:

    Hey Phil!
    Just wanna wish you good luck with everything! I love your crew soooo much! Jake n Josh are sooo much like my older brothers it’s crazy. They’ll take good care of you.

    P.S. You rock that mullet! 😛

  36. Susan Drummond says:

    Hi Capt. Phil…I adore you..your boys..and the whole crew…I just really want to thank you…first for letting us share your life…and second for being the reason that I quit smoking. I’m a 51 year old single lady who has smoked since I was 16…thought I could never quit..but when you started coughing up blood that Tuesday night on the show something in me just knew that I could not do this anymore..I smoked the last few Marlboro Ultra Lights I had in the pack and now it’s been 44 days since I’ve touched one…..every time I wanted one I thought of you…you can do it to…take care of yourself you’re in my prayers.Susie in California

  37. Barry Kennick says:

    Hey Capt Phil,

    Please take care of yourself and hopefully you will be fishing again soon. Your sons need you more now than ever. God Bless

  38. Brian says:

    hey Capt. Phil I hope your doing better I am praying for you and your family and crew just stay strong and know we are all with you and all your fishin friends are with you as well stay strong and dont worry it will all be ok god bless you

  39. Yuba P says:

    Hi to You Capt. Phil, I am from very far away country in Europe, hope You are doing better so we all can see more of Life on the Edge-on the cold water, really astonishing job You have and others colleagues so take care and be well again, greetings from Vojvodina and me Yuba!

  40. Billy-Joh says:

    Hi Capt. Phil,
    Everyone in our family is thinking of you and would like to wish you all the best for a very speedy recovery because we would all like to see you out there doing your thing again sometime.
    We are from Australia and also belong to a large fishing family that do surface and bottom long-line fishing and both my husband and brother-in-law look up to all the crab fisherman of the Atlantic.
    So chins up to you all and please stay safe.

  41. Joe Hutto says:

    Dear Phil

    I hope all is well with you after last year. an I hope you will be returning to the show.

    I have a fix-all for you during the year. I build shock Mitigating seats for boats like yours and we offered this to the Northwestern also. We will install one on your boat so that you will not get bumped around from the waves. I use it and belive me it saves my back and hips. So if you like we will install it on your boat at no charge to you at all. we all want you back and this will help


  42. Linda K says:

    Capt. Phil
    I hope your feeling much better. I really miss the show when it is not on. Can’t wait for Jan. We feel like you all are part of our family and we try and never miss an episode. Your are favorite Captain of all the captains on the show. Well your my favorite. I can’t speak for the rest of the family.
    Love the show, hurry back. And Be Careful

  43. Mike Aindow says:

    Dear Phil,
    I have been watching deadliest catch this season only to watch you go through the trauma of the Pulmonary Embolism through contracting a DVT in your leg, I was horrified to watch it happen to you as I myself had the exact same thing happen to me. I have a wife, children and grandchildren. It happened to me after an injury to my leg and as you did I spent time in coronary intensive care for some time, I just wanted to say to you that I hope you return to your life at sea, I’m on the same medication as you and although not mentally but physically I am able to live a life that allows me to continue with my profession as a Crime Scene Investigator here in the UK but most of all still live a life with my family around me. Make your choice about your future and may god be with you all the way. Take care Phil, an avid fan

  44. gerry davis says:

    how are you phil we all wish you well

  45. Mary says:

    Dear Capt. Phil,

    I hope you’re doing well this season. I heard this very morning, that a boat was overturned and 5 memembers of a ship were killed. If you know anything, please post. Am worried about all you guys.

  46. Jock Thomson says:


    Hope you are doing better I follow the show back in scotland. I work in the north sea so appreciate the dangers and respect the sea be safe.
    All the best to you and your family take care and god be with.

    Merry christmas and all the best to you and your sons, crew and fellow captians.

  47. Phil Harris says:

    Thanks for all the support! 🙂

  48. cheri says:

    I watch you all the time. You gave us quite a scare, I am glad you are doing better. Just make sure you get the help you need next time. Life is to short, your boys can handle the rest.. Are you single? lol

    take care god bless

  49. Very good article, found it interesting. Will certainly check out more. Thanks

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