Fans are already loving the new “Below Deck” spinoff, titled “Below Deck Down Under,” which is airing exclusively on Peacock. However, it seems as though the filming of the show encountered some difficulties as one media outlet recently reported that a $9 million lawsuit has been filed.
Mountain View Productions, LLC, the production team for “Below Deck Down Under,” is being sued by the owner of the superyacht featured on the spinoff’s inaugural season, M/Y Thalassa, according to court documents filed in Australian court.
According to Starcasm, who first reported on the lawsuit, the 55-meter motor yacht is actually named the M/Y Keri Lee III and is owned by Trevor Lee and his wife Keri Craig-Lee. The lawsuit alleges that the superyacht was damaged during a charter with Mountain View Productions.
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The Majority of the Court Documents Aren’t Available to the Public But Arbitration Is Set for April 2022
While the original court documents haven’t been made public, one judgment issued by the Australian federal court regarding subpoenas of related documents is available to the public and it states:
The respondent, Keri Lee Charters Pty Ltd, as the claimant in the arbitration alleges that in the course of the charter of a 55m luxury motor yacht, the Keri Lee III, to MVP, the vessel sustained damage. Keri Lee Charters claims monetary sums totalling approximately $12.85 million [AUD].
According to the court documents, the owners claimed that the damages were sustained during a charter in May 2021, and “Below Deck Down Under” is reported to have been filmed in May and June 2021.
There are no details available about the damage that was apparently sustained, but the subpoenas at issue in the filing are regarding documents about repairs to the keel and the paint. The arbitration is set to take place over a three-week period starting April 11 in Brisbane, Australia.
The Below Deck Down Under Captain Has Been Previously Involved in a Major Superyacht Accident
As “Below Deck Down Under” viewers learned in the first few episodes, Captain Jason Chambers has been in a major superyacht accident in the past but with a different vessel.
The reality star captain was at the helm of Moatize, a 45-meter luxury yacht, when it crashed while docking in Cairns, Australia, in 2019. The crash, which is available on video and was also shown on “Below Deck,” saw the motor yacht collide with the wharf. Afterward, Chambers shared in an interview that it was due to a technical fault.
“We came [into the marina] and did a tight turn… and our starboard gear was stuck ahead when I selected the go astern,” he explained to The Daily Telegraph. “We used the bow thruster to come over into a clear vision, went astern to exit the marina, but it was still going ahead at all times.”
Luckily for all involved, the yacht missed colliding with another vessel-turned-restaurant and there were no injuries as a result of the accident. “We did what we’re trained to in collisions: we shut down all engines, dropped an anchor and thank God we selected a nice spot where there were no personnel,” he shared.