WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- Episode 16121 -- Pictured: Captain Sandy Yawn -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo)

Below Deck’s Captain Sandy Yawn Reveals She Almost Fired Fraser Olender During Season 10; Says She Regrets Calling Him A “Cancer”

Below Deck star Captain Sandy Yawn has been called out for having a bias against her interior teams. There’s a distinct trend of her uplifting or glossing over problems on deck teams, while nit-picking at the interior crew. Sandy, (sorry, Captain Sandy), even went after the immensely talented chef Rachel Hargrove. Captain Lee Rosbach only ever supported Rachel, and rightly so.

During her interim tenure on the motor yacht St. David, Captain Sandy fired second stew Alissa Humber and deck/stew Camille Lamb. The interior was left with two OG’s by the end of the season. According to Us Weekly, poor Fraser Olender was also on the chopping block.

As a department head, it was Fraser’s responsibility to set the tone for his crew. He erred by gossiping about Captain Sandy and undermining her authority. He admitted the mistake once confronted. Fraser’s remorse saved his job, but just barely.

“There was a moment [where I considered firing him]. Absolutely. Because listen the walls are thin and [it is important to not] jump on their bandwagon,” Sandy stated. “Change that narrative. That’s your role as the superior here.”

She continued, “You’re absolutely responsible for your team. So I didn’t go to the [interior] team members [with my issues]. I went to the chief stew and said, ‘This isn’t happening. You hired them. Fix it.’”

Captain Sandy defended her management style by saying it was all in the best interest of the client. She explained, “Like, if you need help, ask me. But until then, I stay out of it. I will only help if I see that the client is suffering in service. If I see something going wrong or there’s disharmony on board in my eyes — that’s when I step in.”

In the midst of a confrontation with Fraser, Captain Sandy called him a “cancer.” It seemed an unnecessarily harsh term to use, especially in a professional setting. Certainly not a word that can be attributed to constructive criticism.

Sandy admitted it was wrong to speak to Fraser that way. She said, “I had cancer and I will say this — I should have chosen different words. I’ve been a captain for many years [and] those were the terms we used. So [in terms of] evolving, I would change my terminology for sure. [It was a] bad choice of words,” Captain Sandy added.

To her credit, Sandy did give Fraser a second chance. She admired how her message was received.

“We all need humility in our roles. So, humility isn’t [about] being humiliated. It’s just being humble. And Fraser on the bridge admitted to me that he had never done this before,” Sandy explained. “When you’re in that position, I always have an open-door bridge policy. I would’ve helped him and guided him and tried to say, ‘Hey, delegate and let them make mistakes.’”

Fraser did struggle in his new role. He was often advised to delegate more to his team, at the risk of burning out. Captain Sandy opined that Fraser was “afraid” of the chief stew responsibilities. She added, “I think that was a hard thing for him because in his mind [he thought he was] supposed to know everything. But I don’t wanna take a risk because they don’t know anything. As a captain, I still defer to my team. I don’t know everything about everything. And there’s no shame in that.”

While filming, Fraser acknowledged that he learned a lot from Captain Sandy. And she was happy to function as a mentor and help the chief stew take “pride” in his growth.

Of course, the entire crew had to adjust to Captain Sandy stepping in for Captain Lee Rosbach. The latter always took a hands-off approach until s–t really hit the fan. Fraser admitted it “took some time” to “get used to” the interim captain’s management style.

RELATED: Below Deck Star Captain Lee Rosbach Calls Captain Sandy Yawn Out For Lack Of “Procedure And Respect” After Camille Lamb’s Termination

“I think they have, overall, very different management styles. I knew Captain Lee and I knew how he worked. He also trusted me and he gave me the confidence to be creative and enjoy my take on [it],” he explained.

Contrasting that with Sandy, who has been accused of micro-managing and playing favorites with her crew, Fraser said, “But equally, she taught me a lot about myself and I think at the end of the season [you’ll] understand what I mean by that. She really opened my eyes to things I previously wouldn’t have dealt with so well — without her making sure I did.”

It’s great that Fraser turned his dynamic with Sandy around. Certainly, it would have been the end of his career on Below Deck if he hadn’t changed the narrative. Prior to his conversation with Captain Sandy on the bridge during the February 7th episode, Fraser imploded.

“Pure rage. I’ve never been in a fight and said, ‘It’s not the right time to speak to me,’” he said during confessional. “I’ve never felt so sickened by a captain in my entire life. I’m in actual shock.”

Those interested in learning more about Sandy’s leadership style can read her new book, Be the Calm or Be the Storm: Leadership Lessons. Captain Sandy explained why she wrote the book. “The fans were asking for a book on leadership, and I thought [I would] just throw a little bit of my personal life in there. I wanted to show them that you could go from who I used to be [but] that when people invest in other people you can actually change your life and become a super yacht captain. I had no idea that was possible,” she said.

Ironically, after all this drama, Captain Lee is back on Below Deck for the remainder of the season.


[Photo Credit: Charles Sykes/Bravo]