Harris suffered a stroke Jan. 29 while in port offloading his boat, the 128-foot Cornelia Marie.
His sons, Jake and Josh, who work as deckhands on the vessel, have released the following statement, which is posted on the Discovery Channel website:
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. We will remember and celebrate that strength. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers.
Discovery Channel also released 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.
Fans wanting to leave condolence messages can do so on the Discovery Channel message board.
The popular television series "Deadliest Catch" follows the adventures of seven crabbing vessels and their crews during the Alaskan king crab season in the Bering Sea. A sixth season has been announced for broadcast this year.
The Aleutian Islands port of Dutch Harbor, Alaska, is the base of operations for the fishing fleet.-- Kelly Burgess
Photo: Capt. Phil Harris of the Cornelia Marie. Credit: Discovery Channel
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