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'Deadliest Catch' Captain Phil Harris Dies, 53

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Feb. 10 2010, Published 4:32 a.m. ET

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Phil Harris of Deadliest Catch died after suffering a stroke on Jan. 29, Discovery Channel announced Tuesday evening.

Phil, captain of the crab-fishing vessel Cornelia Marie, suffered a stroke while off-loading in an Alaskan port, Discovery Channel announced.

He showed signs of recovery after being flown to Anchorage for surgery, but the trauma was ultimately too much.

"He was more than someone on our television screen. Phil was a devoted father and loyal friend to all who knew him," Discovery Channel said in a statement. "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."

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Phil's sons also released a heartfelt statement.

"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," they said. "We will remember and celebrate that strength. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers."

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