Below Deck and its sister show, Below Deck Mediterranean, have been huge hits for Bravo since the original series began in 2013, which is why another yachting spin-off was already reportedly in the works in early 2019. And while the on-screen drama between the crew members and charter guests has kept viewers tuning in, there’s been just as much drama happening off screen, too.
As Below Deck‘s lovable chief stew, Kate Chastain once told Entertainment Tonight, « You know, yachting is just a very stressful situation. Close quarters, long hours and some people just can’t make it the whole season for one reason or another. » So, if you regularly watch either reality TV yachting show, then you’re likely familiar with the tension that can come from working such a busy and high-pressured job. It should come as no surprise then, that when the cameras are turned off, many crew members have let off steam in surprising ways. Not to mention, not everything makes it onto the air, meaning viewers might not know what really happened in some of their favorite Below Deck episodes.
Join us as we take a look at some of the dark secrets of the Below Deck cast.
Below Deck’s chief stews had a big falling out
If you thought that chief stews Kate Chastain and Hannah Ferrier were best friends, think again. While the pair used to be on good terms, that all changed somewhere along the way, which Chastain revealed in a not-so-subtle Twitter post in September 2019. When asked by a fan why she appeared to be throwing shade at Ferrier, the Below Deck alum wrote of her Mediterranean counterpart, « Unfortunately I don’t consider people who talk poorly about me behind my back to be a friend. » Ouch!
Chastain later elaborated to The Daily Dish about why she fell out with fellow chief stew Ferrier. « A lot of people that work with Hannah also work with me, and people tell me things that are said, » she explained. « And so, at this point, it’s just like I don’t really want to be friends with somebody that said bad things about me. » The Below Deck chief stew emphasized this point while confirming the bestie breakup at BravoCon that November. Basically, it’s safe to say that there’s no love lost between these two, and it’s unlikely we’ll see them hanging out outside of work anytime soon.
Hannah Ferrier’s anxiety attack was very real
Fans will remember that in Season 3 of Below Deck Mediterranean, chief stew Hannah Ferrier had to take some time out from her job when she started having severe anxiety attacks. While some skeptical viewers might have wondered if Ferrier’s anxiety was put on for the cameras, the reality TV star wanted to make it clear that she does live with the condition. In 2018, the chief stew told Decider, « The anxiety had been going quite badly for eight days leading up to the attack, it didn’t just come out of nowhere. » Ferrier also noted the relentlessness of the job as an important factor in why she became so anxious: « You can’t get away from the cameras, you can’t get away from the work environment, the charter guests just keep coming. »
As for any doubters who thought that Ferrier might have been amping up her anxiety symptoms for the cameras, the Below Deck Mediterranean star said, « It was a disappointing to see a few people saying, ‘Oh, it’s a drama queen.’ I was like, I wouldn’t be on Bravo, I would be accepting my Oscar if I could act like that. » That said, Ferrier seemed to be fine with people having seen her experience an anxiety attack, especially since she received a positive reaction from those living with this mental illness. She added, « I think it was good to see people’s response that they felt less alone. »
Below Deck’s captain and crew regularly get propositioned
It turns out that much of the drama that makes it onto our screens is an accurate representation of the yachting life. While speaking with Fox News in 2018, Below Deck‘s Captain Lee Rosbach revealed that being propositioned or flirted with by charter guests is just a normal part of the job: « I think almost every charter Captain has been propositioned several times in their careers in that fashion. » Fans of Rosbach — who’s, of course, happily married to wife Mary Anne (fun fact: she was once his chief stew) — will have seen him successfully fend off the advances of many an intoxicated guest, however hard they’ve tried to seduce him.
Below Deck Mediterranean star Brooke Laughton also confirmed that she’d been propositioned while working on yachts. « I was once asked to join a male boss in his hot tub, » she said during an interview with The Sun. « I felt uncomfortable so I said I was working and it wasn’t very professional. » Laughton also explained that there’s a certain expectation to dress up as a stewardess in order to impress the guests, saying, « Girls do feel pressure to please their bosses. The owners also want their crew to be glamorous and well put together at all times — manicured nails, no chipped polish, lipstick, immaculate hair. »
It’s clearly far from an easy job — especially when you have to fend off unwanted advances from guests in the workplace.
Some Below Deck guests have made R-rated requests
In Season 3 of Below Deck Mediterranean, Anastasia Surmava took on the roles of third stew and chef. While she handled both with aplomb, Surmava has had some less than easy moments when it came to getting strange requests from charter guests. « I think the strangest thing a guest has ever asked me for was on their provisioning sheet, they had me stock their room and their friend’s room with condoms and lubricant, » she revealed to Entertainment Tonight in June 2019. « That was a weird one. My shopping list went, like, tomatoes, avocados, bananas, condoms, lubrication, more condoms and some bread. » We suppose it’s good to be prepared, right?
Meanwhile, deckhand Jack Stirrup claimed to Entertainment Tonight that he once « got the crew an extra bit of tip » by visiting a guest in her room at her request, which was sure to raise some eyebrows. But if you thought that the requests Surmava and Stirrup received were wild, then Kate Chastain’s revelation is likely to surprise you. The Below Deck chief stew previously told Miami New Times in 2014, « I’ve had to cook filet for a Pomeranian. I’ve seen escorts walk onto a boat less than an hour after the wives and children left. Honestly, nothing really surprises me at this point. »
It sounds as though what happens on the yacht, stays on the yacht.
Captain Lee Rosbach’s son passed away
In a heartbreaking Instagram post shared in July 2019, Below Deck‘s Captain Lee Rosbach revealed that one of his children had passed away. « This past Saturday, my beloved wife Mary Anne and I laid our youngest son, Joshua Lee Rosbach to rest, » he wrote alongside a photo of his late son. « After a twenty year struggle, he finally succumbed to the demons he fought so long and so hard. » The captain went on to reveal that his son had battled addiction, writing, « We loved Josh unconditionally and were proud of the man he had become in spite of his problems. »
According to People, his cause of death was an accidental overdose at the age of 42. The Dignity Memorial reported that Joshua Lee, who went byJosh, « passed away in the comfort of his home. »
In October 2019, Captain Lee Rosbach revealed via Instagram that he was taking part in « Sallarulo’s race for Champions 5K for Special Olympics » in honor of his late son’s memory.
Caroline Bedol’s serious allegations against Kate Chastain
Caroline Bedol made a lasting impression during Season 6 of Below Deck. Throughout the season, the third stewardess had many disagreements with her chief stew, Kate Chastain, and it appears as though their issues continued after filming finished. Bedol’s since-deleted tweets about Chastain from late 2018 have been preserved in screenshots, thanks to All About the Tea. In one particularly heated post, Bedol alleged that Chastain had been drinking alcohol on board, writing, « I feel like keeping quiet all season about your inability to refrain from drinking at work was pretty nice of me. And if you did earn my money for me, that’s what, $2,000. Your little ‘secret’ would cost you your career, considering it’s wildly illegal. Welcome. » Eek!
In response to another fan’s tweet about Chastain, Bedol reportedly wrote, « It’s not a secret. Might I also mention that it is quite literally impossible to deny that footage exists to prove these allegations. But integrity isn’t really the name of this game. I assure you though, Kate’s boozing is no secret. » Even though Bedol went on to apologize for alleging Chastain’s supposed alcohol and cocaine use in another since-deleted tweet, Chastain was less than impressed with the claims and subsequent apology. « All the hideous, false things she has said about me have already been posted and reposted by various online tabloids, » the chief stew tweeted in response. « So the damage is done and permanent. »
Caroline Bedol faced troubles following Below Deck
Since leaving Below Deck following Season 6, third stew Caroline Bedol definitely hasn’t had it easy. In October 2018, Radar Online reported that she’d had a run-in with the law, claiming a warrant had been issued for her arrest after the reality star allegedly « skipped out on a mandatory court appearance for a case involving her pitbull. » The gossip site claimed that Bedol’s pitbull had attacked an Australian shepherd dog in the street after the stewardess allowed her canine to run off without a leash.
By March 2019, further hardships had befallen Bedol, who told Radar Online that she had become homeless since leaving the show. « I’m not looking for a homeless shelter to stay in, but I am homeless in the sense that I am in between homes, » she said. « You get motels or hotels when you can, you sleep in your car if it’s warm. » That June, the third stew found herself in another spot of trouble. According to court documents obtained by Page Six, the Bravo star had been arrested for « larceny in the sixth degree in Danbury, Connecticut. » This misdemeanor charge of larceny relates to stolen property worth under $500, which led to Bedol requiring no bond upon her release. As of this writing, the shoplifting case remains ongoing.
Basically, it’s impossible to deny that Bedol’s life has been filled with challenges since exiting Below Deck.
Rocky’s post-Below Deck joke got out of hand
In Season 3 of Below Deck, Raquel « Rocky » Dakota made a big splash as the third stewardess. From her secret shenanigans with bosun Eddie Lucas to her difficult relationship with chief stew Kate Chastain, Dakota’s appearance on the show was pretty unforgettable. After filming ended, Rocky shared a social media post suggesting that she’d cooked for Captain Lee Rosbach and his wife in Florida, and that she often spoke on the phone with former cast member Connie Arias.
However, it seems as though there was some bad blood between Dakota and the rest of the crew, as many of them took to Twitter to dispel these claims. « FYI @Bravotv Rocky is a flat out liar, » Chastain tweeted. « She never cooked for captain lee, Connie doesn’t call her. » For his part, the captain was also quick to shut down the story, writing, « No she lied, she has never been to my home, that would take an invitation and that simply didn’t happen. »
After the rest of the yacht crew hit back at Rocky’s claims, she was forced to reveal the truth on Twitter: « Connie NEVER calls me and I DONT hang w Capt. Lee!! It was a JOKE! @Bravotv Kate, Connie, and Lee hate me! » Joke or not, does this mean we won’t be seeing Dakota on another Below Deck crew anytime soon?
Ross Inia’s off-screen drama
Deckhand-turned-bosun Ross Inia might have seemed like he had it all together during his appearance on Below Deck‘s Season 6. However, Inia’s post-reality TV life has been filled with drama. According to Deadline, Inia was arrested in West Palm Beach, Fla. « for disorderly intoxication and battery » during a crazy night out with fellow cast member João Franco in December 2018. On the night in question, Franco shared in an Instagram Story (via Deadline), « Ross is in jail … and we’ve been looking for him four hours and counting. » Meanwhile, the Daily Mail obtained Inia’s police report, which revealed that the bosun had reportedly « punched the officer in his head and shoulder with a closed fist and then threatened the officer and his family multiple times. »
As if Inia’s prison drama wasn’t juicy enough, he also found himself in a spot of hot water over the nature of his relationship with controversial former charter guest Krystal. After sharing a loved-up photo on Instagram in January 2019, it was reported that Inia and Krystal had gotten involved, leading the reality star to clarify their status in a since-deleted Instagram post (via The Daily Dish). « We are not having an ‘affair,' » he wrote. « I have had the opportunity to spend time with her and her husband. We poked fun at all the assumptions. Remember everyone is going through something in their personal life and it’s no [one’s] business to get involved or judge. »
Was Below Deck’s Mila Kolomeitseva a fake chef?
Season 4 of Below Deck Mediterranean provided some major drama in the form of Mila Kolomeitseva, a chef who was apparently Le Cordon Bleu-trained but couldn’t even prepare a plate of nachos. While Kolomeitseva’s food was apparently bad (remember the time she licked a raw steak?), her seemingly homophobic views left viewers and castmates horrified. While many viewers believed Kolomeitseva to be a plant, who was simply hired for the crazy drama she’d create, Hannah Ferrier revealed this wasn’t the case. « There really isn’t any way to know if someone is going to be homophobic in a normal job interview and her CV looked great, » the chief stew tweeted in June 2019. « She’s OBVIOUSLY not great but it wasn’t set up like that. »
However, fans weren’t convinced about the validity of Chef Mila and started doing some digging of their own. Starcasm‘s research turned up several online profiles for the alleged chef, albeit with her surname spelled as « Kolomeytseva » instead of Kolomeitseva. Her StarNow profile, for example, listed Kolomeitseva as an « actor, extra, model, » further adding fuel to the claim that she might have just been a hired performer rather than a trained chef.
Sure, it’s not the most scandalous drama Bravo’s ever faced, but while we may never know if Kolomeitseva was a legit crew member, most of us are simply relieved that we never had to eat that steak she licked before preparing it in the microwave.