Oregon Coast Gathering Honors 'Deadliest Catch' Star
|Astoria's contribution to the show "Deadliest Catch"
(Astoria, Oregon) - Five "highliner" Captains - the top fishermen of the Bering Sea - came together at The Columbia River Pilot House in Astoria Tuesday to talk about their great friend and crab fishing partner, Captain Phil Harris. Harris, who is best known for skippering the F/V Cornelia Maria on Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” hit series, passed away February 9. The interview will be available for sale as a special DVD tribute to Captain Phil as a fundraiser for the Commercial Fishermen’s Festival, which recently renamed its signature event to the Captain Phil Harris Highliner Competition.
Captains David Lethin, Rick Quashnick, Jim Wilson, Derrick Ray and Harry Lewis represent more than 175 years combined experience of commercial fishing. “Many of those years were with Phil,” said Captain Lethin.
|Astoria commercial fisherman Mike Giles running in the competition
Each man has at least 35 years at sea and many fond memories to share.
“He was a true highliner on land and sea,” shared Captain Harry Lewis. “In our world, Highliner means that he is the top of the heap.”
“Phil used to say, ‘I don’t wanna be no where else’ when talking about the sea,” said Captain Wilson.
“He was the real deal – what you saw is what you got and that’s why we and his fans loved him,” said Captain Lethin, who is a board member of the Commercial Fishermen’s Festival.
Captain Derrick Ray took over the helm of the F/V Cornelia Marie to finish out the season. “The crew and I meshed together really well - it was tough getting back to work but we all wanted to finish what Captain Phil started,” explained Ray. “He would have wanted it that way. He loved 'Deadliest Catch' and he loved being a fisherman.”
|Captain Phil Harris
Captain Quashnick, President of the Commercial Fishermen’s Festival board, said he had fished as a partner boat with Phil for about twenty years in the Bering Sea. “There were about five of us who worked our boats together all those years. It’s not going to be the same without Phil.”
Captain Lewis wrote a special tribute poem to Captain Phil and using his harmonica he gave a heart-felt bluesy performance as a closing to yesterday’s interview.
Fans interested in having a copy of this one-of-a-kind interview can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to place their order. Details about release date and price will be made available when the DVD release date is set. A pre-order ensures fans have the first opportunity to receive a copy of this limited edition DVD.
The mission of the Commercial Fishermen’s Festival is to offer fishermen and industry professionals an opportunity to bond and share information that will save lives, improve productivity, increase demand for seafood products, and promote job opportunities. The mission is also dedicated to educating the public about the fishing industry including the steps fishermen have taken to ensure a renewable resource for the future. The Festival will showcase American fisheries and the process of selecting, preparing and cooking seafood.
The Commercial Fishermen’s Festival the biggest most informative fun-filled commercial fishing celebration in the region. Here fans will meet the Captains and crews from boats featured on “Deadliest Catch,” and cheer on the men that risk their lives to bring us seafood as they compete in the grueling Captain Phil Harris Highliner Competition for the title of Highliner of the Year. Witness a search and rescue helicopter demonstration by the US Coast Guard and see historic and modern fishing equipment worth millions of dollars. Festivities include demos, industry sales, food, music, crafts, culinary stage with celebrity chefs, beer garden and a kid’s area for a fun action-packed weekend.
The 2010 Commercial Fishermen’s Festival is September 18 & 19 at the Port of Astoria. Visit www.CommercialFishermensFestival.com.
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