Abandon Ship! Three Deadliest Catch Captains Leaving Show

Abandon Ship! Three Deadliest Catch Captains Leaving Show
Captain Sig Hansen
Blair Bunting/Discovery

09/29/2010 AT 02:05 PM EDT

There's a storm hitting the hit Discovery show Deadliest Catch.

Three of the programs stars, captains Sig Hansen and Johnathan and Andy Hillstrand, are retiring – from reality TV.

The three crab fishermen are leaving the show, due to litigation with Discovery, they tell the Hollywood Reporter.

"We have been through a lot over the past year and unfortunately given the current situation with Discovery we are unable to continue participating in Deadliest Catch, they said in a joint statement.



The network sued the Hillstrand brothers for $3 million in September, claiming they failed to finish production on their planned spin-off, Hillstranded.

"It has been a fantastic ride, and we wish the best to all of the amazing and supportive Catch fans we have met over the years," the captains added.

Their departure comes after a highly emotional season, which documented the death of beloved Captain Phil Harris, who died of stroke complications at 53.



Harris's sons, Josh and Jake Harris, plan to return to the show for season seven.

"Both boys are eager as ever to get back to fishing with their crew on board the Cornelia Marie," Jake's rep, Russ Herriott, tells PEOPLE. "Josh and Jake hate to see what is going on at this time. The Hansens and Hillstrands are close friends and part of the crab fishing brotherhood and it is sad to see that they have chosen this path to leave the show."

With reporting by CYNTHIA WANG

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