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Phil Harris, Deadliest Catch

Discovery Channel

Phil Harris has survived crabbing on the Bering Sea. He apparently isn't going to let a stroke keep him down.

The crusty crab-boat captain of Deadliest Catch fame is out of emergency surgery and, according to his family, as salty as ever following a stroke last Friday.

"Today, dad showed some good signs of improvement, squeezing our hands and even summoning his trademark captain's bluntness by telling the doctors and nurses, 'Don't f--k up,' " sons Josh and Jake reported Wednesday on the Discovery Channel show's site.

"We are encouraged but still very cautious. It is a long road ahead, but its made more bearable and comforting knowing your thoughts and prayers are with us. We are strong because of you—our fans."

The elder Harris, a Deadliest Catch fixture since the show's launch, was found unconscious during an offload of crab late last week. He was airlifted to Anchorange and endured 12 hours of surgery, where the Cornelia Marie skipper was placed in a medically induced coma.

His sons, who are also featured on the hit show as deckhands, remained by his side while the vessel resumed fishing.

Discovery has given no indication about how much of Harris' medical scare will be featured on Deadliest Catch, but the show hasn't shied away from Harris' personal turmoil. He suffered a near-fatal pulmonary embolism during shooting two years ago, and it became a major storyline on the show.

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Deadliest Catch easily makes the cut in our Dangerous Reality TV gallery.