Deadliest Catch Caught a Death on TapeS

A producer for Discovery's morbid crab fishing show tells Entertainment Weekly that the captain came out of a coma and ordered the crew to keep filming him on his death bed. But is this really what Phil Harris wanted?

The Discovery show's executive producer, Thom Beers, tells EW that crews from the show filmed Harris having his stroke and were on hand when he emerged from a chemically-induced coma. Supposedly Harris, who couldn't speak, wrote a note giving his consent to be filmed saying that his story needed a "great finish." That does sound like the Phil that we knew and loved. On every reality show someone screams for the camera to get out of their face, but it happens the most on Deadliest Catch. Phil was a tough, gruff sonuvabitch, and we don't really want to watch him die a weak hospital death. We'd rather remember him cursing out his crew from the wheelhouse and wrangling with rough seas than as a regular Joe lying in a hospital bed. There are some things that are just too sad and private to be shown on television, and this story seems a bit like a crass attempt to say, "But it's what Phil wanted." The family is making plans to scatter his ashes at sea during the next crab season. We're sure a camera crew will be there, and that we will watch, with tears in our eyes.