Captain Phil Harris fights for his life while the rest of the fleet is on the Bering Sea catching crab, which is what Phil would have wanted.. Captain Phil suffered a massive stroke while on the docks and he allowed the camera’s to film his every step in the hospital. At one point he could barely talk and he manages to ask the doctor if he will be able to partake in the next crabbing season.
Phil Harris invited the cameras in for a very personal part of his life, which was a very giving thing for him to do. At one point we see him in his hospital bed with a shaved head full of stitches and the doctor is explaining the swelling he is experiencing in that area.
Captain Phil looks nothing like the Captain Phil we know as he sits concerned, or scared of the unknown, in his hospital bed. His looks are withdrawn and he has become very skinny during his hospital stay. The doctor was making arrangements for Phil to be transferred to Seattle for rehab after the stroke, where he would be closer to home. His sons are by his side making sure they do what is best for their father’s recuperation, which never comes to be.
Captain Phil has deep sunken eyes that are found on the terminally ill and through out the episode there are clips of Phil seeing his friends and family as they visit him in the hospital. His rough gruff voice has been reduced to a frightened whisper as he shares his last hours with hid family and friends.
Keeping with the Captain Phil the audience came to love, he asks his son for a cigarette while in the hospital bed. Although Captain Phil and his family and friends are getting ready for Phil to be moved to a Seattle rehab for stroke victims, this never comes to light.
Jake is in Seattle making arrangements for his father’s move into the rehab when Captain Phil takes a turn for the worse. Captain Phil’s death is announced in a tearful phone call from Josh to Jake – “I don’t know how to tell you this, we lost dad”.
The Discovery Channel’s, Deadliest Catch, handled the death of Captain Phil in a sensitive and caring way. It was a great tribute to a great salty sea captain. They could not have covered Captain Phil’s death in a better way. It is amazing how Phil Harris allowed the camera’s to film every aspect of his life, even in the most private moments which lead to his death. It was a show that was sure to bring tears, a great send off for Captain Phil Harris on Deadliest Catch.
References: The Discovery Channel Deadliest Catch Captain Phil’s Final Episode