Below Deck has branched into several spin-offs during the past nine years, which has seen some unforgettable yet frightening moments.
Below Deck first hit our screens in 2013 and, nine seasons later, we’ve witnessed the crew take on the Mediterranean, Thailand and the Bahamas among other spots.
With yachting on the high seas being an extremely dangerous activity, we have to applaud the staff for keeping incidents to a minimum. But it can’t always go smoothly, so here’s a round-up of Below Deck‘s tragedies and misfortunes.
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Below Deck’s most tragic and terrifying times
Below Deck Sailing Yacht crash
Ship hit the fan in Below Deck Sailing Yacht season 2 after Parsifal III hit the dock while under the control – or out of the control in this matter – of Captain Glenn Shephard.
Described as the “second-most intense moment” by executive producer Courtland Cox, the yacht hit the dock in Croatia due to intense wind speed. Combine that with a mechanical error that short-circuited the thrusters and the captain was unable to steer the boat as it proceeded full-speed ahead.
The accident costed a hefty $10,000 to $20,000 but, as the paint company owed them a respray, they came out with their wallets undamaged. Shephard revealed in a Reddit AMA their boats are well-insured.
As for the dock, it cost about $5,000 to $6,000 to repair.
Loyal viewers of Below Deck Sailing Yacht will remember season 1 guest Kerry McReynolds, a retail sales manager who boarded the Parsifal III with friends Mark Nitsche and Dino Cresci.
Despite her battle with stage IV cancer, her sense of adventure and infectious energy won the hearts of the crew and viewers. Unfortunately, she passed away on 9 February 2022 aged 50.
With 30 years of experience under his belt, Captain Mark Howard was the best option when the Ionian Princess set sail in Below Deck Mediterranean season 1. He led 13 episodes before the post was taken over by Captain Sandy Yawn.
The Michigan-native sadly passed away at his Florida home on 27 October 2021 due to hypertensive cardiovascular disease. His death was listed as natural, a medical examiner report obtained by E! News stated.
Mark was 65 years old.
Ashton Pienaar’s brush with death
Sailing is a dangerous activity and the Below Deck cast were reminded of that in a freak accident in season 6.
Captain Lee Rosbaach waited for the staff to loosen the tender lines before Ross Inia confirmed all was clear. As soon as the motor was started, Ashton was pulled into the sea when a rope wrapped around his ankle.
Although the crew acted swiftly and professionally, it was still one of the most terrifying incidents in Below Deck history. “It was honestly the most scariest moment I’ve had on yachts,” steward Josiah Carter told ET. “Ever. Like, that doesn’t happen on a yacht. You can prepare for it, you can do all the training for that moment you don’t want to happen. Like, you buy insurance for your car, you don’t want to use it.”
While the members freaked out about the scene, Captain Lee kept his cool on socials, simply calling it a “tough one”.
Kate Chastain was certain Ashton survived the almost-deadly incident thanks to his physical strength and the boat’s structure. The My Seanna yacht was originally 150 feet but was extended another 30 feet, an unusual decision for owners.
As it was longer, the propellers underneath the boat were more recessed so the 32-year-old narrowly avoided getting his “ankles severed”.