Though the man overboard incident only took place during the last few minutes of the most recent Below Deck episode, Ashton Pienaar being dragged into the water has been the main focus for all the cast interviews this past week. The entire crew is still coming to grips with the severity of what happened, and what was narrowly avoided.
Tyler Rowland was a witness at the back of the boat with Rhylee Gerber. As the junior deckhand of the group, Tyler was getting a lot of instruction from Ashton. Apparently, Ashton himself had warned him about the lines. Tyler said, “Ashton told us they’re super dangerous. Don’t step over those lines because they go out.”
Unfortunately, despite all his training and experience, Ashton stepped on the line. His foot was caught and he was dragged to sea. Tyler described what he saw in that fateful moment on the Below Deck Aftershow. He recalled, “I looked to the left. I looked to the right. I saw him skid out. He slid off the boat.”
Rhylee was the other crew member present with Ashton and was on the radio immediately to call the man overboard. She said she never experienced a man overboard in her boating career.
Thankfully Ashton survived the ordeal but months later, the crew is still shocked that the accident had happened at all. Josiah Carter set the tone, “When you hear something like that over the radio, it’s something you never wish to hear, or never think you’re going to hear. You just don’t believe it.” Then, Kate Chastain expressed the same shock. She confessed, “I didn’t believe it. I didn’t know how serious the situation was at the time or even until much later.”
The interior crew plus chef Adrian Martin were in the dark about the danger Ashton was actually in. Adrian recalled, “I just thought he fell off the back and now he was just chilling in the water, about to go on the tender. I didn’t realize the gravity of the situation or how far it had gone.”
Since the crew is still trying to rationalize how it happened, Kate presented an explanation. She described the time that the boat picks up new charter guests as the most hectic two hours in a charter. Then, she explained, “Captain Lee is driving. The deck crew’s got to get the fenders in and operate the tow lines for the tenders. We’re getting luggage. I’m giving a tour. It’s like the worst two hours of my life. Which makes sense why a mistake would happen at this point because all of us, even though we’re good at our job, we’re well practiced. There’s this energy that the new guests bring on board that adds chaos.”
Josiah adds that fatigue could have also come into play, especially towards the end of the season. He said, “You get tired as well. When you’re overtired, you’re not thinking. And you’re gonna cut corners.”
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Ashton has yet to comment about falling off the boat. It seems producers have a reason to keep him out of the conversation for now. Perhaps after the next episode, fans will get a chance to hear his side of the story. Until then, the Below Deck audience is anticipating the next episode to see what happened.
TELL US- DO YOU THINK THIS ACCIDENT COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED? WILL ASHTON BE ABLE TO FINISH OUT THE SEASON? WHAT ARE YOUR OPINIONS ON THIS SEASON SO FAR?
[Photo Credit- Bravo]