The stars of The Deadliest Catch are tough guys who make their living doing grueling work – but the death of Capt. Phil Harris earlier this year dealt a terrible blow to his fellow fisherman, particularly his two sons, Jake and Josh.
"We are staying in contact with Phil’s boys quite often and I don’t think they’ve fully adjusted yet," Capt. Sig Hansen tells PEOPLE. "They’ve gone through their ups and downs, obviously. but they’ve got a long way to go."
Shortly after his father’s death, Jake Harris was charged with reckless driving, and later a bench warrant was issued for the young fisherman after he failed to show for a court hearing.
Capt. Hansen, who also stars on The Deadliest Catch and who knew Harris for "a lot of years" before being cast on the Discovery Channel show, says the Harris boys will be okay – but they need a little time.
"I lost my father, and it hit me a long time afterwards," says Hansen. "I know that talking to his boys, they’re dealing with it in their own ways, but it’s going to take them a while. "
Hansen calls Capt. Phil’s death from complications of a stroke "heartwrenching."
"I feel like he was robbed,” Hansen adds. "I feel like his family was robbed and [he is] just gone too soon and it’s not fair. We're going to miss him."
Reporting by MICHELE STUEVEN