Original air date: June 24, 2008
Three arctic storms converged on the fishing grounds, causing severe damage to many of the boats. The crews raced to repair their boats as another severe storm approached. On the Cornelia Marie, Captain Phil Harris injured his ribs after being thrown from his bunk during the storm. After bandaging his ribs, Captain Phil went to the wheelhouse to continue fishing for the remaining 34,000 pounds (15,000 kg) for the scheduled delivery. The crew hauled in good numbers, but Captain Phil’s condition began to worsen as he started to cough up blood. Captain Phil decided to keep this a secret from the crew. On the Wizard, the crew pulled in big numbers and Captain Keith Colburn decided to set back the gear in the same spot. This required the crew to step up the pace of work, but greenhorn Jason Moilanen continued to underperform. Deciding that they have had enough of Jason Moilanen, Captain Keith called his brother, Monte, to the wheelhouse to conduct interviews for a new greenhorn and decided to hire Cooper Weatherby. As the Time Bandit offloaded 135,000 pounds (61,000 kg) of crab worth $220,000 at St. Paul Island, Co-Captains Andy and Johnathan Hillstrand decided to reward younger brother Neal for his many years of service by telling him he was no longer required to work on the deck. On the Cornelia Marie, Captain Phil called Engineer Murray Gamrath and confided in him about his condition, worried that he may have an internal injury. Despite some medical attention by Murray, Phil’s condition did not improve and Captain Phil called an Anchorage hospital, which recommended that he seek immediate medical attention. Captain Phil decided to ignore the recommendation and continue fishing. Unable to keep Captain Phil’s condition a secret any longer, Murray disobeyed orders and told Captain Phil’s sons about their dad’s condition. Captain Phil’s son, Josh, attempted to convince him to head into port and get medical help. Captain Keith of the Wizard called Captain Phil seeking advice on fishing, but instead talked about Captain Phil’s condition and Captain Keith repeated the recommendation to seek medical attention. Murray’s concern led him to tell series producer Todd Stanley to watch over Captain Phil in the wheelhouse and to call him if Captain Phil’s condition worsened. Two days after his injury, Captain Phil conceded that his condition was not getting any better and agreed with the crew to head to St. Paul after the gear was set. When the Cornelia Marie arrived at St. Paul, a storm surge prevented the boat from entering port and they were forced to circle the island. News of Captain Phil’s condition spread throughout the fleet. Other captains attempted to call Captain Phil, but he chose to ignore the calls. Sixty hours after his injury, the storm broke and the Cornelia Marie was able to enter the harbor at St. Paul. A series of X-rays suggested that Captain Phil’s condition was more severe than broken ribs and a possible puncture lung and that he required examination by a specialist.