Below Deck’s Worst Charter Mishaps

Bravo’s Below Deck franchise has survived multiple calamities over its lengthy run on the network, including kitchen fires, water toy injuries, and even a drug scandal. However, working on a mega yacht, while it has many pros, also has a few cons. The captains must always be on their toes, keeping an assertive watch over their posts. Even something so much as an anchor drag could spell disaster. These are Below Deck’s worst charter mishaps.

Charter Guest Mishap

Kerry Titheradge/Instagram

Below Deck Adventure Season 1, Captain Kerry Titheradge revealed that he had a charter guest who was almost seriously injured. During a paragliding tour, one guest almost got seriously hurt when a strong gust of wind took their feet right out from under them as they tried to navigate a steep cliff. While the guest was okay in the end, the excursion was a near-death experience. The Australian captain told viewers at the time that it could have been fatal. 

A certain sense of danger comes from these types of expeditions that are surely not for the faint of heart. The newest nautical spin-off isn’t like its counterparts, as most guests want a one-in-a-lifetime experience that often pushes their comfort level. Even though each captain wants their guests to have fun at the end of the day, it is all about safety. 

Total Ship Show

Glenn Shephard/Instagram

During Season 2 of Below Deck Sailing Yacht, Captain Glenn Shephard had to deal with the aftermath of a crash. The episode showed just how much of a pressure cooker it could be for a captain to navigate a large sailboat. In a shocking twist, the Parsifal III crashed into the stone dock due to the extremely high winds. No bumpers could stop the impact causing the vessel’s tail end to be destroyed entirely. It was easily one of Below Deck’s worst charter mishaps.

Not only was the boat totaled, but so was Captain Glenn’s ego. The week prior, the Parsifal III had another collision which wasn’t as bad. The Bravo camera crew was clearly startled, as the accident was something they were not used to experiencing. Their fear translated through the cameras to viewers’ TV screens at home. 

The High Seas Drug Bust

(Photo by: Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

During Below Deck Season 1, Captain Lee Rosbach welcomed a group of charter guests onto the mega yacht even though they were high as kites. Captain Lee initially didn’t feel their illegal intoxication would be an issue. Boy, was their buzz killed when the salty captain ripped into them. The charter in question only lasted one day until the second stew, Kat Held, found residue that looked an awful lot like cocaine.

Along with the sketchy powder found in the bathroom, the guests also had a nasty habit of powdering their noses, leaving only one conclusion. Once Captain Lee was informed of the drug bust, he turned the vessel around and returned to the dock, kicking the charter guests off. Captain Lee didn’t mince his words as he told them to disembark and that they would not be given a refund. 

Man Overboard

Ashton Pienaar/Instagram

Perhaps one of the scariest Below Deck mishaps happened when Ashton Pienaar was pulled overboard and almost lost his life. During Season 6, the deckhand came up against a few issues as the mega yacht left Puna’auia, Tahiti. At the time, the South African native stood on the swim deck, slowly releasing the line that towed the tender. Ashton was standing on the wrong side of the lead rope without noticing his footing and was quickly dragged under the water by his ankle. 

All Below Deck viewers heard was Ashton’s panicked scream as his head disappeared below the surface. Fellow deckhand Rhylee Gerber could be heard over the radio telling the crew, “Man overboard.” While Rhylee was communicating, Bravo cameraman Brent Freeburg jumped in and was able to release the line, freeing Ashton from almost certain death. At the time of the incident, Captain Lee held back tears, telling viewers that Ashton was “within 30 seconds of dying.” 

Hannah Has Left the Ship

Hannah Ferrier
(Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)

Unpopular opinion, but losing Hannah Ferrier was a God send. The former chief stew on Below Deck Mediterranean was cruel and often mean to those around. So, the way she was fired made her departure all the better. During Season 5, Hannah had difficulty communicating her issues with Captain Sandy Yawn as she suffered from severe panic attacks. After Bosun Malia White found and reported drug paraphernalia to the captain, Hannah’s days were numbered. 

Sandy had no choice but to fire Hannah for bringing undeclared drugs onboard, which included Valium and a vape pen. To make matters worse, viewers watched Sandy follow Hannah to the bathroom to accuse her of flushing the evidence down the toilet. Hannah was annoyed but made sure to leave the yacht with a parting gift; a can of Coke.


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