What happened to the Cornelia Marie on “Deadliest Catch”?

April 18, 2024
9 mins read

While TV shows are often short-lived, a few stay on air for years. This is the case with “Deadliest Catch”, the series which follows several fishing vessels’ crews as they make a living while navigating the unrelenting Bering Sea.

Though during the decade it has aired, “Deadliest Catch” has showcased many vessels, the truth is that some of them are more well-engraved into the audience’s memories than others. On its part, the Cornelia Marie happens to not only be one of the show’s most popular boats, but its crew has given “Deadliest Catch” some of its most memorable moments.

So whatever happened to the Cornelia Marie? Is it still in the show? Who does it belong to now, and who is its current Captain? Keep with us to discover all!

What Happened To The Cornelia Marie?

If you kep up to date with “Deadliest Catch” lately, but are still interested in the whereabouts of the fishing vessel Cornelia Marie and its crew, then we have some good news for you.


The boat was still in the show when its 17th season premiered in early 2021, besides being the main focus of the two seasons of “Deadliest Catch”’s spin-off “Bloodline” premiered in 2020.

Though all of these are positive things for the ship, its crew has gone through some hard times recently too. As seen in an episode aired in June 2021, the Cornelia was hit by high waves described as ‘taller than the house’ while navigating the Bering Sea.

Fortunately, the vessel didn’t suffer serious damage and no lives were lost as water hit its decks, but the incident was traumatic to say the least, even despite it not being unusual for fishers to experience harsh weather conditions.

As well, in October 2021 the Cornelia Marie was hit by lightning while navigating in Louisiana. The incident was reported by the ship guide Jeff Silva, who was evidently glad no one was really hurt by the natural phenomenon, but lamented the loss of the crew’s Gyro-Stabilized system cameras. It’s unknown if Discovery’s filming staff was aboard the boat at the time.


Why Is Josh Harris No Longer The Cornelia’s Captain?

Though the Cornelia Marie is fortunately doing well, despite the common adversities it faces while sailing the Bering Sea, fans of “Deadliest Catch” were confused to tune into the show’s 17th season, only to find out Josh Harris isn’t captaining his father’s vessel anymore. Instead he was on board the crab fishing boat Time Bandit, but why is that?

As it happens, Josh has been Cornelia Marie’s Captain since 2014, but prior to that he spent a couple of seasons under the command of Johnathan Hillstrand, an old friend of his father Phil and Captain of Time Bandit. Although his time on said vessel was short-lived, it was evidently a positive experience for Josh, even resulting in a strong friendship with his now-fellow Captain. Knowing that, it’s not surprising that when Hillstrand recently asked Josh to spend a season on the Time Bandit, he couldn’t say no, even despite thinking of it as a joke at first: ‘I wasn’t really fully serious that I would come and help him on his boat. And, then it happened’, he told TV Shows Ace in early 2021.

Before you worry if Josh’s position as Time Bandit’s co-captain is long-term, it’s important to make clear that he was there only for the King Crab and Bairdi seasons before his return to the Cornelia was due. Meanwhile, his long-time co-Captain Casey McManus did an excellent job at the wheel of the Cornelia.

Why The Cornelia Marie Left The Show For A While?

It’s quite unusual for long-term reality shows to keep the same cast for the entirety of its runs and it’s no different for “Deadliest Catch”. Throughout the 17 seasons it’s aired, the show has seen many stars come and go; many fishing vessels featured in it have also been forgotten.

Though the Cornelia Marie fortunately isn’t in the latter category, in 2016 it was left off the show for the first time since its debut in the first season. As expected, the Cornelia Marie’s absence caused many rumors to arise, including those which affirmed the demands made by the vessel’s crew were just too much for Discovery.

Cornelia Marie

However, Cornelia’s Captain Josh Harris denied those rumors back then through a Facebook Live. In his words, leaving the show wasn’t his doing, nor was it an issue related to money, but was solely Discovery’s choice: ‘They have creative control over pretty much everything that airs in “Deadliest Catch,” and we respect that.’ Josh also lamented not getting to spend more time with the show’s filming staff, whose members he described as ‘family’.

It’s not exactly known what led Discovery to leave the Cornelia out of the series then, but fans’ requests probably played a role in the return of the vessel and its crew in the next season.

What Is “Bloodline”?

The Cornelia Marie is undoubtedly one of the most well-loved ships in “Deadliest Catch”. Nonetheless, while its popularity could be partially faulted to the longevity of the vessel in the series, its crew is definitely the biggest reason the audience loves it so much.

Knowing that, it’s not very surprising that in 2020 Discovery premiered Cornelia Marie’s own show “Bloodline”.


The spin-off series follows the adventures of Josh Harris and his co-Captain Casey McManus as they visit Alaska, following the navigation charts left by the deceased Cornelia’s Captain Phil Harris, who apparently visited the Big Island decades ago.

The show also introduces Jeff Silva, a local fisherman who served as Cornelia Marie’s guide while it sailed the coasts of the Kona district. The adventure couldn’t be more exciting for Josh, who besides getting to know more about his late father’s whereabouts in Hawaii, also got to fish rare species such as swordfish, barracuda and yellowfin tuna, the latter very special due to its expensive commercialization.

“Bloodline” turned out so well that a second season premiered in April 2021. Though for now it’s unknown if a third season is in the makings, Josh is apparently expanding his fishing business in Hawaii in the long run.

Cornelia Marie

Who Owns The Cornelia Marie?

As with most fishing vessels in the Bering Sea, it’s impossible to talk about the Cornelia Marie without mentioning the legacy of its past, and current owners and captains, added to the many stories it carries. Built in 1989, the boat first belonged to Ralph and Cornelia Marie Collins until the couple’s divorce in the 1990s, where she took full ownership of the vessel before partially selling it to Phil Harris in the early 2000s.

Phil captained the Cornelia Marie for several years before his death, when the fishing vessel’s future was uncertain. As it happens, Josh inherited half of his late father’s shares of the vessel, and was strongly interested in purchasing the rest of the ship. However, as Josh’s financial limitations made it difficult to do that, Casey McManus joined in by purchasing a big part of the vessel, along with two other stockholders.

Josh eventually expanded his ownership to 50%, and became the ship’s biggest shareholder.

Nonetheless, McManus affirms that all associates are very supportive when it comes to taking care of the Cornelia: ‘It’s not uncommon to see one of them welding while another is cutting the next piece of steel’. Though it’s a topic mostly untouched by Josh, it’s assumed his brother Jake isn’t a Cornelia Marie shareholder.

Was The Cornelia Marie Remodeled?

With three new associates, it was quite expected that the Cornelia Marie would go through many changes. While inspecting the ship, new shareholders Roger Thomas and Kari Toivola noticed that almost all the steel in the accommodation block needed to be replaced, in addition to the acquisition of new engines, and re-modeling the crew’s bathroom.

Though some of the improvements made to the ship were mostly inclined to the aesthetic side, they were made with the main purpose of giving the crew a comfortable working environment. As well, it was a means to improve the Cornelia Marie’s performance in achieving the goals of its owners, as McManus told Yahoo Entertainment: ‘they made it a real sustainable, a real viable business’.


Even if the names of the new shareholders might not sound familiar to “Deadliest Catch” fans, the pair had actually been in the crab fishing business since the 1980s. Their goal as investors was to take the vessel to new levels and make it able to load ‘200,000 pounds each (over 85,000kgs) of King Crab and Bairdi and another million pounds of Opilio’ (about 45,000kgs), as Thomas affirmed, evidencing how much potential they saw in the Cornelia Marie.

What Happened To Josh Harris?

Josh Harris is currently the owner and Captain of the Cornelia Marie, but there’s a lot of other things to say about his life nowadays.

Josh kept the Cornelia Marie active even through the COVID-19 contingency, but in 2021 the difficult situation took a toll on him when he was diagnosed with said virus. The unfortunate news was revealed in a “Deadliest Catch” episode aired in August that year, which makes it difficult to determine the exact date he was infected.


While Josh admitted he ‘wasn’t feeling sick’ by the time he video-called Casey McMannus and Jeff Silva to inform them, his absence from the Cornelia Marie’s made the crew’s job hard due to its unexpectedness.

Not everything is bad news for Josh when it comes to his personal life, as apparently his daughter Kinsley Ella is most likely following the family’s fishing tradition. As Josh revealed in an early 2021’s interview, Kinsley often spends time boarding Cornelia Marie’s little boat, an experience he affirms she finds fun. Nonetheless, he’s also worried she finds school ‘overrated’: ‘She knows I didn’t graduate school, so she was like, look how you turned out. I tell her that it’s a little bit different. It’s a lot harder life’.

While his worries are understandable, there’s still a lot of time left for Kinsley to decide what she wants to do in life.

What Happened To Jake?

As any keen fan of “Deadliest Catch” knows, Josh Harris’ younger brother Jake’s life has been quite messy for the last decade.


Following their father’s death, Jake was taken by Captain Sig Hansen’s guidance on board the Northwestern. However, even with the extra help, Jake was unable to escape his addictions, and eventually left the show and the life of a fisherman altogether.

Jake’s life wasn’t easy afterwards. Besides being assaulted and ‘left to die’ on a side road in 2016, the following year he was arrested for stealing a car. Two years later he was charged with driving under the influence, possessing a stolen gun and drugs. Though Jake was under arrest for a while after that incident, in 2020 he made a brief appearance in “Deadliest Catch: Bloodline” and awakened the hopes of seeing him again in the main series, a possibility which even Josh agreed with as long as Discovery and Jake himself wanted it too.

However, in May 2021 Jake was arrested a second time for driving under the influence, making his comeback to the series unlikely. That is definitely bad news for any fan of the series who warmly remembers the good time Captain Phil had with his sons on board the boat.

What Happened To Phil Harris?

It’s hard to talk about the Cornelia Marie without mentioning Phil Harris, who was not only the vessel’s Captain but also a big part of its spirit. Though it’s been long known that Phil died several years ago, some people still don’t know what happened to him in detail.

While Phil’s death shocked and saddened his fellow “Deadliest Catch” stars and fans in equal parts, his health had been spiralling down for quite some time prior to it. Back in 2008, Phil suffered an accident on board which resulted in a pulmonary embolism, a condition which kept him away from TV cameras and fishing altogether for over a year.

Following his eventual return to the Cornelia Marie, Phil’s health worsened to eventually result in a stroke in January 2010, when the ship had been navigating near St. Paul Island. He was immediately taken to Anchorage to receive proper medical attention, and was put into an induced coma. Phil woke up a couple of days later, and reportedly showed many positive signs of recovering until 9 February, when an intracranial haemorrhage ended his life.

Needleless to say, Phil’s death was a strong hit to his crew, fans and especially to his sons. However, his loved ones have done a good job at honoring his legacy through the show, or simply by continuing his sea adventures.

Olivia Wilson

As the Freelance Writer at Net Worth Post, I steer producing riveting stories about the lives and triumphs of influencers. With an unwavering commitment to precision and a flair for weaving compelling tales, I guide our content creation, from the depths of research to the pinnacle of narrative excellence. My responsibilities encompass the full spectrum of editorial management, including the meticulous investigation, narrative development, and upholding the integrity and high standard of our output.

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