What Happened to 'Deadliest Catch's Beloved Boat, Cornelia Marie? (2024)

The Big Picture

  • Former Captain Phil Harris passed away due to a stroke, and Cornelia Marie was purchased by Josh Harris and Casey McManus.
  • Cornelia Marie, a staple on Deadliest Catch, stopped appearing due to Josh Harris' past legal troubles.
  • Former cast member Taylor Jensen hints at a possible revival of F/V Cornelia Marie with an Instagram post.

Deadliest Catch is one of the most beloved Discovery Channel properties thanks to its extreme conditions and high-stakes drama. Now in its 20th season, one infamous fishing vessel has been missing from the show: the Cornelia Marie. As one of the most prominent crabbing ships on the series since its debut in 2005, the Cornelia Marie's greatest tragedy occurred when Captain Phil Harris passed away due to a massive stroke. His sons, Jake Harris and Josh Harris, took on the responsibilities of the vessel before Josh purchased the boat with the help of Captain Casey McManus. While it did disappear for some time during Season 13, it had since returned. That is, until a series of unfortunate events.

Following the dangerous and crucial world of Alaska king crab fishing, Deadliest Catch captures the lives of the individuals who put everything at risk for their lucrative career. With rough waters and brutal competition, the series has amazed viewers for 20 seasons. With a cast of characters displaying their fervor and passion for the industry, there has been a dark cloud that has engulfed some off-camera drama that impacted the world on-camera. From shocking deaths to unfortunate legal woes, the individuals that led F/V Cornelia Marie have a storied past.

What Happened to 'Deadliest Catch's Beloved Boat, Cornelia Marie? (1)
Deadliest Catch (2005)


Release Date
March 15, 2005

Mike Rowe

Main Genre


Thom Beers

What Happened to F/V Cornelia Marie?

Over the course of the first decade of the show, the Cornelia Marie was one of the most beloved fishing vessels on Deadliest Catch. Helmed by Captain Phil Harris, the Cornelia Marie was a staple on the show as one of the four permanent fleets. Like all the other fishing boats on the program, the Cornelia Marie encountered its fair share of trials and tribulations, but nothing was as awful as an incident in 2010 where Captain Phil Harris suffered a stroke while offloading crabs in port. Despite his conditions improving, he suffered an intracranial hemorrhage, causing him to pass away in the hospital at the age of 53.

Following his passing, his sons, who were known for their sibling rivalry, took over for their father. They tried to earn enough money to purchase the ship, but they were ultimately unsuccessful. Now, it appears Josh was able to purchase the boat with Captain Casey McManus. During the 13th season of the show, the Cornelia Marie was missing. It alarmed longtime fans of the show as they questioned why it was gone. But it did eventually return a season later. So why was it gone? Well, Josh Harris stated that it wasn't a dispute about money. It was simply a decision made by the production team at Discovery. By Season 17 of Deadliest Catch, Captain Casey solely took charge of the Cornelia Marie. And for good reason.

The Cornelia Marie is currently gone due to its association with Josh Harris. Following his guilty plea for a 1998 sexual assault case involving a minor, Discovery Channel and Deadliest Catch have severed ties with Josh Harris on the flagship program and its spin-offs. The report detailed Josh's controversial incident as representatives for the network stated, "We've been made aware of this. Josh will not appear in future episodes of this series." And thus, the ship was gone. Josh Harris was part of the spin-off Deadliest Catch: Bloodlines in 2020, alongside Casey McManus and local fisherman Jeff Silva. Tragedy has continued to strike the Harris family. For Jake Harris, he had been previously jailed for a DUI and then was arrested again for a DUI following publicized substance abuse problems.

Could F/V Cornelia Marie Appear Again?

What Happened to 'Deadliest Catch's Beloved Boat, Cornelia Marie? (2)

Due to the unfortunate events surrounding the Cornelia Marie, Captain Casey McManus found himself out of a job when Discovery Channel cut ties with the fishing vessel. Captain Casey was a staple on the program since the early days of the show, but this was a reality show capturing reality. There was no way to retain him and move him to another ship. This one was his. In a tweet following the situation, Captain Casey said it was a “bummer deal” that his contract wasn’t renewed. Whether it was out of frustration or disappointment, he also stated that there was no crab to catch, leading to him calling Deadliest Catch “smoke and mirrors.”

After the network ended the relationship with the boat, Casey McManus moved to a new job pulling tugboats off-screen. It's been years since F/V Cornelia Marie has been seen on screen, but some fans think there might be a revival. Former cast member Taylor Jensen has taken to Instagram to share a photo of himself with the vessel, stating he was #Bristolbaybound and is now a partner. Taylor previously served as a deckhand, greenhorn, and engineer on the boat during his tenure on the program from 2018 to 2022. With new blood on board, perhaps a new era for F/V Cornelia Marie could hit the seas.

Many fans remember Taylor Jensen and his three consecutive injuries on the show. First, he was hit with the wrath of the ocean. An 80-thousand-gallon wave knocked Taylor at full force, tossing him to the other side of the vessel. Then, during hurricane conditions, he was knocked in the head by a crab pot that got loose. And to wrap it all up, he was severely injured in a freak accident where his finger was torn open, causing him to cut the skin off. It’s safe to say that Deadliest Catch is not for the squeamish.


Captain Jake Anderson starts a new adventure.

'Deadliest Catch' Has a History of Controversy

Deadliest Catch has been marred with controversy for years, both on and off camera. Between lawsuits against production and the manipulation of some of the action on the Bering Sea, Deadliest Catch has continued to defy the odds, with viewers refusing to turn away. In 2010, production manager Matthew Schneider was one of 18 individuals arrested in a drug bust. He also happened to use the drugs in front of a police officer. Former F/V Wizard deckhand Joshua Tel Warner was a bank robber prior to being cast on the show and was busted after being recognized for his appearance. Numerous cast members experienced substance abuse issues, with many passing away, including Nick McGlashan. The production company for Deadliest Catch had been sued over the protocols following Nick Mavar's medical emergency. On top of the on and off-screen issues, the show has been accused of exaggerating the action, lowering quotas and amplifying the drama on-screen.

Deadliest Catch is back for Season 20 and fans are eager to see all the action. A derby kicking off the season, the stakes are at an all-time high. The season will follow the likes of Captain Sig Hansen, Jake Anderson, and Wild Bill Wichrowski, among others. The landmark season will feature terrifying conditions, extreme competition, and a race against time. Rivalries are back in the Bering Sea.

New episodes of Deadliest Catch air Tuesdays on Discovery Channel. All episodes of Deadliest Catch are available to stream on Discovery+ in the U.S.

Watch on Discovery+

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What Happened to 'Deadliest Catch's Beloved Boat, Cornelia Marie? (2024)
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