‘Deadliest Catch’: Phil Harris’ Sons Opened Up About Their Dad’s Life Away From the Sea

by Taylor Cunningham
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Deadliest Catch star Phil Harris suffered a tragic death aboard his boat, Cornella Marie, in 2010. While offloading crab, he had a stroke and passed nine days later. The Discovery Channel hit, which is in its 17th season, captured the professional life of Captain Phil Harris well, but what do we know about his personal life?

With the release of a new spinoff, Deadliest Catch: Bloodline, fans of the Phil Harris will know more about who this man was when he was off-screen.

In the Discovery+ show, Harris’s son Phil follows some newly-found fishing charts his father left behind. With partner Casey McManus, Josh goes to Hawaii, hoping to learn more about Captain Phil.

“Now, armed with new leads, Josh and Casey are heading back to the Big Island in hopes of uncovering Phil’s secret past,” read a Discovery+ press release. So what do we know about Harris so far?

So far, most of Phil Harris’s personal life has been outlined in a 2013 book entitled Captain Phil Harris: The Legendary Crab Fisherman, Our Hero, Our Dad. The book, written by his sons, tells us about Phil’s tragic love story—and his last days before passing.

Phil’s one true love was his first wife, Mary. The Deadliest Catch captain met her while she was an exotic dancer at a nightclub. The couple dated for five years and wed in 1982. Then, they divorced in 1991. Phil asked his first wife to re-marry him shortly before his death in 2010, but Mary said no. While she believed he was a wonderful friend, she did not think he was a good husband.

Phil’s sons, Josh and Jake, believed that Harris’s second wife, Teresa, was an “evil creature.”

Phil remarried in 1993. His sons said that she was abusive and caused Phil to fall into a state of depression. In fact, Josh and Jake referred to her as “Satan.” The couple divorced after ten years of marriage, and Teresa died of a heart attack in 2011. Josh Harris wrote that she was one of the meanest people he had ever met, and he told readers that he “didn’t feel bad” when she died.

Josh and Jake also wrote that Phil made a surprising recovery before he passed in 2010. Phil woke from a medically-induced coma, and his friends and family believed he was given extra time on earth “so he could be at peace.”

“I think that miraculous recovery that happened so rapidly and blew the doctors’ minds away was so that he could say the things that he had to say to the people he had to say them to,” Phil’s best friend, Dan Mittman, told People Magazine.

Witness a Horrify Shark Encounter on ‘Deadliest Catch’

We’d think the crab fishers on Deadliest Catch had enough danger in their lives with the turbulent seas. But a recent episode of the Discovery Channel hit shows crewmates meeting a pack of sharks. And these weren’t just any sharks. They were whitetip sharks. As Josh Harris states, “Oceanic whitetip sharks have a rap shit about a mile long.”

The Deadliest Catch promo shows Jeff in the water try to spear a shark as it approached him. “Jeff better grow a set of eyes in the back of his head,” Josh says.

Watch the shark-infested episode on Discovery Go.

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