The incredibly dedicated and determined Captain Lee Rosbach struggled with his decision to depart Below Deck Season 10. Of course it was the right call. Lee struggled physically after losing feeling in the left side of his body. Nerve damage in his leg left him unable to captain a yacht properly.
That didn’t make it any easier for Captain Lee to leave though. And before he even finished his good-bye speech to the crew of motor yacht St. David, Captain Lee promised to return before the end of the charter season.
And by golly, he did it, People confirmed. “I made a promise to the crew before I left that I would be back before they were done, before the season was over, and I would walk on board by myself unassisted,” Captain Lee stated. “I’m happy to say that I was able to fulfill the promise.”
He added, “That was a very proud moment for me. I wanted to be able to finish what I started.”
Our Stud of the Sea was seen by doctors and physical therapists during his time on land to deal with deteriorating nerve issues. Though his medical team confirmed that the surgeries he had on his back and neck went “extremely well,” Captain Lee struggled with balance and basic motor skills while still on board. “My mind’s there, my heart’s there, my body just won’t cooperate,” Captain Lee told his crew before leaving the boat. “I’ve never quit, and this time, I have to.”
Referring to his policy of issuing one-way tickets home, Captain Lee joked, “I finally gave myself a plane ticket home, but it’s round trip. I’m going to go back to the States, get this straightened out and as soon as I do I’ll be on the first plane back here and tell whoever’s on board to get the f– off my boat.”
Well, that someone was none other than Captain Sandy Yawn from Below Deck Mediterranean. Her appearance on-screen was met with mixed reactions from viewers. Thankfully, disappointed fans can rest assured that Lee Rosbach will be back in full form by the season finale.
Despite making a triumphant return, Captain Lee seems unable to come to terms with leaving in the first place. “That’s something I’ve never done in my life, I’ve never quit,” he told People. “I’ve never had to say I quit. And it was really, really hard to admit, especially to myself, that there’s something out there that kicked my ass. That was a hard pill to swallow,” Lee added.
Sympathetic reaction from his crew made the departure bittersweet. Chief stew Fraser Olender and chef Rachel Hargrove were in tears by the end of Captain Lee’s speech. “I was very touched by that. It was palpable. You could taste it,” he recalled. “It was in the air and it was just raw emotion on both sides of that fence. I was close to tears because it just means that much to me. And to be able to instill that in other people, that same sort of caring and see it take place, it’s like, ‘Yeah, I’ve done good.’ To have to walk away from that was just harsh.”
Captain Lee then provided insight into his recovery process. His regime included a massage therapist, clinician, and extensive physical therapy, sometimes up to six days a week. “If they were open, I was there,” Captain Lee told People.
The process worked, but not at the pace Captain Lee was hoping for. He said, “There were times when I would get discouraged. I’m like everybody else, I guess. We’re so used to instant gratification. We want to see progress immediately. And with nerve damage, it just doesn’t happen that way. So I’d get frustrated. Other people would see a difference in my progress but it wouldn’t seem like anything to me because I wanted to see leaps and bounds instead of baby steps. But we got there,” he added.
“Right now everything’s in a good place” and Captain Lee is feeling “great.” He quipped, “It was a bit of a rough patch there. I felt like Chester in Gunsmoke!”
Captain Lee credits wife Mary Anne Rosbach for her role in the recovery process. Ever present by his side, Mary Anne gave “tremendous support” to her loving husband.
Fans and followers flooded Captain Lee’s social media with words of support. “The outpouring of sympathy was just overwhelming. I thought I died!” he said.
“I don’t consider myself a celebrity or a reality TV star. I’m just a captain that does this job, happens to get filmed while I’m doing it,” Captain Lee concluded. “And then when something like that happens and you see the reaction to the fans, you realize the responsibility you have and how many people’s lives you actually touch in a great way. So it’s humbling to say the least.”
TELL US- ARE YOU SURPRISED CAPTAIN LEE RETURNED BEFORE THE END OF THE SEASON? ARE YOU WATCHING BELOW DECK WITHOUT CAPTAIN LEE? WHAT IS YOUR REACTION TO CAPTAIN SANDY TAKING OVER?
[Photo Credit: Charles Sykes/Bravo]