Deadliest Catch Star: It Was "Difficult" to See Dad Die on TV

Entertainment Jul. 27, 2010 AT 6:15PM
Deadliest Catch Star: It Was "Difficult" to See Dad Die on TV Credit: Rick Gershon/Reportage by Getty Images

More than 8.5 million viewers tuned in to see the touching last moments between Deadliest Catch star Josh Harris and his father, Phil, who died in February after suffering complications from a stroke.

But despite his grief, crab fisherman Josh tells UsMagazine.com he's glad the show was able to capture the intimate scene in the show's July 13 episode.

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"They taped the last conversation I had with my dad," Josh tells Us. "I remember leaving the hospital and it really sucked. It was very difficult for me."

Sadly, seeing his father's passing replayed on television didn't provide the closure Josh was hoping for -- though he admits it has helped preserve his father's memory.

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"I think it's like, I keep thinking this whole thing is a joke. Like he's going to pop out of the woodwork somewhere and  say "I got you good, f***er," and come back to work," Josh says. "But that's not going to happen. I got to see what I got to say to him in the last little bit and I actually feel very grateful and fortunate for that."

After refusing to work alongside his father for years, Josh admits he's grateful he braved the waters with his dad on the Cornelia Marie.

"We became best buddies, working partners," Josh tells Us. "We just generally spent time and got to hang out and learn who each other were. It was an awesome thing to have gotten that opportunity."

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But after tonight's season finale (airing on Discovery at 9 P.M.), the single fisherman, 26, says he hopes to trade the icy waters for a warmer, sunnier climate -- and a healthier lifestyle.

"My first plan is to take a vacation somewhere warm with drinks with little umbrellas in them. Preferably the only crab I'll see will be in a cartoon!" Josh tells Us. "I just want to relax for a little bit. I have also started on a wellness kick. I am trying to quit smoking and [my brother] Jake's trying to follow suit. Smoking is what killed my father so we're going around the U.S. helping people know about what problems and effects happen when you start smoking. We want to use our celebrity to help people stop smoking and just more than that, just be healthy. We want to help try and save people's lives."

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