Perhaps the most recognizable ship on the Deadliest Catch, the Cornelia Marie vanished during season 13, leaving fans perplexed. The F/V Cornelia Marie was a major focus of the series for well over a decade. We first met the fishing vessel in season 2. Phil Harris captained the ship. Tragically, Phil Harris passed away during season 6 of the series. A touching memorial service followed that season.
Following Captain Phil’s unexpected death, a variety of captains helmed the Cornelia Marie. Finally, in Season 10, Phil’s grandson Josh Harris took over as captain. This is a duty he still shares with Co-Captain Casey McManus.
Of course, the Cornelia Marie continues to play a major role in Deadliest Catch. The ship is also a central focus of Deadliest Catch: Bloodlines. The spin-off follows captains Harris and McManus. They use the ship to explore a series of intriguing fishing charts left behind by Captain Phil Harris himself. A subplot deals with Harris trying to reconnect with his estranged brother, Shane.
To longtime fans, the Cornelia Marie is unquestionably one of the most significant fishing boats in the entire franchise. That is most likely why it was so startling when the ship vanished abruptly during Season 13 of the show.
Josh Harris sheds light on why the Cornelia Marie was missing in season 13
Fans of Deadliest Catch know that the F/V Cornelia Marie is notably absent from Season 13. It has never been fully understood why the ship was not included. Some details about this were given in a now-deleted Facebook live cast from 2016. Josh Harris declared that the ship would not be returning for Season 13. He pointed out that Discovery’s decision to exclude the Cornelia Marie was entirely their own.
“We do not have a camera crew aboard this king crab season,” Harris said on the live stream. “This was not our decision and it was not made by the owners nor the captains of the Cornelia. This was not a dispute over money, this was simply a decision made by production [at] Discovery.” In other words, the crew was still working hard. They were on the seas through the crab season, just not on tv.
During an interview with Yahoo Entertainment in 2017, he provided further explanation. Josh Harris admitted that around the time of production, he was busy visiting multiple people in the ICU. Harris wasn’t comfortable with private moments like that being on Deadliest Catch. These comments by Josh Harris are eye-opening. It appears that there were external reasons for Discovery’s decision to remove the cameras from the Cornelia Marie. Whatever the cause, the ship returned to the limelight in Season 14 and has been central to the show since.