Those crew members on Below Deck, Below Deck Mediterranean, and Below Deck Sailing Yacht are given their extra stripes because they hold a great deal of responsibility in their roles of command.
The positions of chief stew, lead deckhand, bosun, and first officer all serve under the authority of the captain but are tasked with the leadership duties to make the right decisions, uphold protocols and procedures, and make sure the needs of their subordinates and the guests are met.
While these higher positions are not easy there is an expectation that those in charge know what they are doing, act in ways that command respect, and cut out any threats to the success of the charter or crew.
With that said, there have been many instances where those in leadership positions have fallen short or dropped the ball that resulted in inappropriate moments taking place that either embarrassed themselves or the boat, jeopardized crew or guest safety, or instigated larger issues.
Some of the Below Deck franchise cast on this list are repeat offenders and there are also stand-alone moments that could be seen as questionable.
1. Captain Mark Howard and Bryan Kattenburg not firing Danny Zureikat sooner
Danny Zureikat from Season 1 of Below Deck Med got away with so much more than should have been tolerated before he was ultimately fired. He crossed guest boundaries, coworker comfort levels, was the instigator in fights, challenged the boat hierarchy, and was only fired after he repeated a major offense the second time.
After many fireable incidents took place, Bryan Kattenburg who was the bosun on the yacht, kept giving Danny more chances. Captain Mark Howard also gave Danny a lot of leeway even after being approached by the crew about his behavior and witnessing it first hand even though Danny’s actions jeopardized the integrity of the boat and the privacy of the guests.
Even though Danny was fired in the end, it came way too late to salvage the damage that he had done.
2. Kate Chastain talking badly about Jennifer Howell in front of guests
One of the main rules in yachting is for the charter guests never to see you sweat or to have any inclining of drama or issues that are happening below deck.
Chief stew Kate Chastain broke this rule when she and stewardess Jenn Howell could not control their negative feelings towards one another on Season 5 of Below Deck.
After hearing a commotion coming from the galley, two guests made their way in to see what was going on and found Kate and Jen squabbling with each other. Kate then took what she may have thought was a joke too far and said that Jenn sucked at her job to the guests who were astonished.
3. Ashton Pienaar as bosun embarrassing the boat on the crew’s day off
Ashton Pienaar came onto the yacht as bosun on Season 7 of Below Deck but his raucous and drunken behavior during days off proved to undermine his authority and credibility.
One particular day, when the crew had the day off, they were treated to a day at a premier beach club in Thailand. Ashton proceeded to ruin it by getting so hammered he did a cannonball into the water in front of the DJ set, which splashed water all over the equipment as the staff was telling him not to do the reckless move.
The beach club ended up sending Captain Lee a bill for $1000 and Ashton’s actions were an embarrassment to himself and the boat.
4. Eddie Lucas and Rocky Dakota hooking up
When Eddie Lucas was bosun on Season 3 of Below Deck, he was going through a rough time in his relationship with his girlfriend, who had cheated on him.
Eddie secretly pursued Rocky Dakota and the two began hooking up in the laundry room and when Rocky let other people know about her feelings for Eddie, he denied their trysts outright.
After mounting evidence and pressure, Eddie finally admitted that he had been lying about the hookup but it ruined his reputation with the crew and caused Captain Lee to express his disappointment in Eddie’s behavior.
5. Kate Chatain’s rocket ship bed decoration
After Kate Chastain felt like she was doing a great job during the charter and that the guests felt well taken care of she was served a big slap in the face by the primary guest, Mr. Slover when he called her “b**chy” on Season 2 of Below Deck.
Kate put on her stew face in front of Mr. Slover but actually took great offense to the comment privately. So much so that she decided to get back at the primary by folding the decorative blanket on his bed into the shape of what was perceived by Mr. Slover to be a penis.
When Kate was confronted by Captain Lee initially she denied her involvement. When she was finally cornered she admitted to the blanket folding but insisted that it was a rocket ship.
6. The way Chandler Brooks spoke to Rhylee Gerber and Kate Chastain
Chandler Brooks came onto the boat on Season 6 of Below Deck as bosun and between the number of screw-ups on deck, guest dissatisfaction, and his inability to communicate effectively with his team, Chandler was fired from the boat.
Where he really crossed the line was in the way he talked down to Rhylee Gerber, used gaslighting tactics, totally underappreciated her value, and didn’t offer her the opportunities she deserved to show her skills and grow in her position.
He was also out of line when speaking to Kate and demeaned her position as a chief stew, privately calling her a glorified housekeeper.
7. Eddie Lucas screaming about the slide within earshot of the guests
Eddie Lucas was made first officer on the yacht on Season 9 of Below Deck which is currently airing. He appointment Jake Foulger as his lead deckhand but found that he had to step in and help much more than he anticipated after several deck team screw-ups.
As the mistakes mounted, the deck crew faced a challenge getting the slide set up one day and Captain Lee even came out to lend a hand.
Eddie lost his temper and started shouting and cussing about the poor execution of the slide but he was within earshot of the guests.
Eddie’s behavior with the slide irritated Captain Lee who thought as first officer Eddie needed to act responsibly under pressure and show his maturity as a leader.
8. Hannah Ferrier not following protocol with her medication
During Season 5 of Below Deck Mediterranean, Malia White reported to Captain Sandy that she saw prescription medication for Xanax in Hannah Ferrier’s belongings. There was also a marijuana pen among her things. When Captain Sandy checked the yacht’s medical log the medication was not listed as something Hannah took.
When Hannah was confronted, she could not provide a prescription from a doctor for the Xanax but denied taking it while on duty. As for the weed pen, Hannah said she picked it up in California and didn’t know it was among her things.
As per maritime law and Hannah’s inaction to follow it she was swiftly fired.
9. Jenna MacGillivray sleeping in the master cabin with Adam Glick
Once chef Adam Glick and chief stew Jenna MacGillivray began their flirtation, it quickly grew into a boat romance where everyone else on board became disregarded. The pair flaunted PDA all over the boat and took their hookups into the master cabin without asking permission.
The crew had a problem with them taking advantage of their rank, not following boat etiquette, and letting emotions control their work performance.
10. Wes Walton promoting Malia White over Bobby Giancola
In Season 2 of Below Deck Med, Wes Walton had a crush on Malia and acted on those feelings and the pair made out on several occasions.
Malia was a green deckhand working with Bobby, who was a more experienced deckhand, and Max Hagley who was also fairly green.
When Captain Sandy asked Wes to choose someone from his deck team to move up into the lead deckhand position he chose Malia over Bobby which set tensions ablaze.
One school of thought believes that Malia deserved the opportunity but the other thinks that she was only promoted because of Wes’s fondness for her. Either way, it was a controversial decision.
11. Kate Chastain leaving the boat and Ashton Pienaar’s drunken angry rampage
Season 7 of Below Deck was a doozy for Kate Chastain and Ashton Pienaar as tensions between the department leads were at an all-time high.
Ashton became enraged at Kate, who he had been trying to kiss every time he got drunk, after she made a joke about his mother. Ashton got so mad that he was lunging at Kate from the seat in front of her and ended up punching the car window.
Once back at the boat, their issues raged on and Kate ended up leaving the boat without letting Captain Lee or her fellow crew members know where she was going or if she was coming back.
Below Deck airs Mondays at 9/8c on Bravo.