Captain Lee Is Reportedly Leaving "Below Deck" for Good—Here's His Replacement
There's speculation that another Below Deck captain will take the helm.
For the past 10 seasons, Captain Lee Rosbach has been in charge of the crew on the smash hit reality series Below Deck. This season, however, Below Deck Mediterranean's Captain Sandy Yawn was forced to take over while Lee dealt with health issues. Although the beloved captain is returning in the coming episodes, it may well be Lee's last time setting sail while filming the reality show. Read on to learn more about his reported departure, and who's expected to replace him.
READ THIS NEXT: Below Deck Captains Sandy and Lee Seem to Be Feuding.
Captain Lee is reportedly saying goodbye after Season 10.
Captain Lee won't be returning for Season 11 of Below Deck, several sources told Us Weekly. The reason for Lee's departure isn't yet clear, but the 73-year-old reality star has been dealing with ongoing mobility and nerve issues, In Touch Weekly reported.
These health issues are what forced him to leave while filming Season 10. In the episode that showed his departure from St. Lucia, the captain told his crew that he needed to "get this straightened out," per Us Weekly.
"As you guys know I've been struggling with my mobility, and it's been hard and I've let you guys down. For that, I apologize," Lee said. "So I've made a decision to leave the boat."
In a confessional on the Dec. 12 episode, he explained that his condition was worsening, noting that he couldn't feel anything on the left side of his body, per In Touch. But in a December interview with People, Lee said that he was feeling "great" and confirmed that he was able to return during Season 10 after going through physical therapy.
While Lee hasn't addressed the reports about his exit, he retweeted a clip on Jan. 25 from his appearance on the Liquidity & Liquor podcast, where he said he would give up the show before he gave up being a captain. "How do you stop being a captain?" Lee said. "I've been a captain for 30, almost 40 years, I've been doing it on TV for 10."
Best Life reached out to Bravo for comment about Captain Lee's reported departure, but has yet to hear back.
Rumors are circulating about his replacement.
Us Weekly reported that Captain Kerry Titheradge will be at the helm for Season 11 of Below Deck. Kerry currently leads the crew on the spin-off Below Deck Adventure, which recently concluded its first season.
The spin-off is set in Norway, but if the rumors are true, Captain Kerry will be making his way to the Caribbean, where Below Deck is typically set. Season 11 is slated to begin filming in Grenada this week, per Us Weekly.
The outlet further speculated that Lee will be happy that Kerry is taking over. The two hit the golf course together, Kerry previously told Us Weekly, where Lee shared some sage advice. "Be yourself. Be that same guy I was playing golf with," Kerry recalled Lee telling him.
In Oct. 2022, before Below Deck Adventure's debut, Lee expressed well wishes for his fellow captain, Kerry told Us Weekly.
"The show hadn't been out yet, but we got a chat and he's like, 'Man, you're gonna do great. You're gonna do really good. I can see it.' He says, 'You're gonna do fantastic in this franchise.' And then he chatted with my daughter. It was cool," Kerry shared.
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Lee wasn't happy with one of Captain Sandy's calls.
While Us Weekly speculates that Captain Lee will be happy to pass the torch on to Captain Kerry, he did have an issue with his interim replacement, Captain Sandy.
Originally, he was nothing but grateful when Sandy stepped in midseason. "Capt Sandy came in [and] bailed me out in a tough situation and I appreciate her efforts," Lee wrote in December.
When later episodes aired, however, Lee noted that he wasn't pleased with the way Sandy handled the firing of stewardess Camille Lamb.
"So I found out after the fact that she fired one of my crew, not before. Ok?" Lee tweeted when the episode aired on Jan. 23.
In Twitter replies to fans, Lee said that he, too, would've fired Camille, but he wanted to be informed ahead of time. "Had I been replacing Capt Sandy on her boat temporarily and felt the necessity to fire one of her crew, I would have called her first to let her know what I was doing and why," he wrote. "I agree with her decision, just not how she went about it."
Sandy denied rumors of a rift.
At first, Sandy didn't directly address the situation, but she did post to her own Twitter account the following day. Sandy's Jan. 24 tweet showed a crying woman and a man yelling at her, with accompanying text reading, "If someone treats you bad, just remember that there is something wrong with them, not you. Normal people don't go around destroying other people." The captain included the hashtags #TuesdayThoughts and #BeKind.
A few days later, on Jan. 31, Sandy tweeted a link to an Us Weekly story featuring commentary from Captain Kerry about Sandy and Lee's alleged "conflict."
In response, Sandy tweeted, "What conflict? I haven't the time to keep up." A fan noted that Sandy "exercised her authority as Captain" when firing Camille, and that Captain Lee was just sharing his own opinion. Sandy agreed and said, "Yep, it was my license at the time."
"They had no conflict, I love the relationship they have!" another fan wrote, to which Sandy replied, "That's what I thought."