It’s a whale of a tale, one that just won’t die, exactly like lucky Ashton Pienaar and his brush with death on Bravo’s Below Deck. If you’ve been below a rock the last month, here’s the 411: Pienaar was nearly killed after going overboard on the hit reality show.
Scenes of the gruesome overboard accident had fans horrified and praying that the hunky deckhand survived his grisly fall into the water after a tow line enveloped his ankle and hauled him from the deck and into the water.
On the Below Deck After Show Pienaar opened up about that fateful day and thanked the man who saved his life, cameraman Brent Freeburg.
Fast-acting Freeburg lept into action the instant he realized Pienaar was in trouble, unwrapping the line allowing Pienaar to escape what he feared was certain death. Pienaar says he and Freeburg caught each other’s gaze as the drama unfolded, with Pienaar convinced he was a goner.
Filled with dread and tension, Pienaar recalls screaming and then immediately feeling as if the weight of the world was released from his body.
Back on the boat, Pienaar was still in shock when the crew told him to talk with Freeburg because he was the one who had saved his life. If it wasn’t for Freeburg’s quick thinking, Pienaar’s foot likely would have been torn off by the line.
Realizing that the cameraman had saved his foot from being severed, Pienaar approached Freeburg and embraced him in a big hug, at a loss for words.
After the gnarly incident that brought stalwart Captain Lee Rosbach to tears, he tweeted, “Brent is a senior shooter and a certified diver so the water and safety are no stranger to him.” On the Below Deck After Show, he called Brent, “a hero.”
Freeburg is obviously as humble as he is heroic, tweeting about the scary real-life moment, “There were a few of us that came together in the very last moments possible, to do an urgent thing. Thankfully, we managed to get it done.”
Below Deck airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on Bravo.