Captain Lee Rosbach – or Captain Lee for short – calls someone from the hospital in a preview for the newest season of Bravo’s Below Deck. Season 8 of Below Deck includes the crew dealing with COVID-19, disobedient guests, hirings and firings, and more. Below Deck premieres Monday, November 2 at 9p.m. Eastern Time on Bravo.
The preview for season 8 flashes between various dramatic scenes. Towards the end, Captain Lee is on the phone with someone and says, “I’m at the hospital right now.” Right before, the narrator says, “Captains can fall.” And the phrase isn’t wrong.
On the Below Deck season 8 premiere, Bosun Eddie Lucas arrives first on the yacht with no Captain Lee to be found. Lucas calls the captain to discover that Captain Lee is in the hospital. “I’m at the hospital right now,” Captain Lee tells him over the phone. “I’m embarrassed to say that I feel in the shower, I went down pretty hard, and busted a couple of ribs. I might need surgery. If it’s bad, I may have to head home. Hell, this season may be over for me before it even starts.”
Lucas asks if his Captain needs anything, to which Captain Lee asks Lucas to make sure the yacht is ready. He details laundry and cleaning instructions and informs him that their first charter starts tomorrow.
“Captain Lee has been a mentor since the day I met him, and to now found out that he’s in the hospital is terrifying to me,” Lucas admits in a confessional. “If Lee doesn’t show up, this first charter isn’t going to be happening, so it’s very concerning.” Captain Lee does make it onboard later that day but admits it’s still extremely painful.
Even though Below Deck tackles the COVID-19 pandemic, the 70-year-old captain is not wearing a mask while at a hospital in the preview. Below Deck started filming on February 13, and Captain Lee announced he had returned home to Florida as late as March 17. Captain Lee has not publicly discussed how he ended up in the hospital.
Captain Lee Revealed a Slew of Spoilers
Below Deck returns in a few weeks, and Captain Lee seemed he couldn’t contain his excitement. Past Below Deck alum Eddie Lucas returns as Bosun, and Captain Lee spilled his true feelings for his return on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen on October 5. “Gosh, it was like déjà vu all over again,” he told Cohen. “It was great. It was great to have a familiar face. It worked, I think, because Eddie knew what he was getting in me. He didn’t have to go through trials and tribulations in getting accustomed to a new captain, and I didn’t have to go through the trials and tribulations of getting accustomed to a new bosun.”
Below Deck’s longtime Chief Stewardess Kate Chastain will not return for season 8, as she has chosen to retire from her career in yachting. Francesca Rubi will replace Chastain as the new Chief Stew, and Captain Lee had some thoughts. When Cohen asked him how Rubi compares to Chastain, Captain Lee admitted they’re different.
“I’m not even gonna go there,” Captain Lee said on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. “Kate is always gonna have a very, very sweet spot in my heart because we worked together for a long period of time, and she was my right hand. There was nothing that I couldn’t delegate to Kate that I just couldn’t pass it off and walk away from it and know that it was gonna get done. To try and compare the both of them after just one season with Francesca is not being fair to Francesca.”
When asked about “boat-mances” between crewmembers, Captain Lee didn’t specifically say if they happened and with who. But he did hint that two people might be fired on the newest season. “You just hope that they work out for the best and when they go south, they go south so quickly and so badly, and sometimes you end up having to get rid of two people,” he said on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.
This Season of ‘Below Deck’ Takes on COVID-19
Not even super yachts can avoid COVID-19. The season started filming in mid-February, just weeks until the virus escalated. While the virus spreads, the crew is sailing around the Caribbean. Captain Lee addressed COVID-19 and explained that they didn’t even know how bad it was.
“We were really actually isolated, Andy, from all of the stuff that was going on in the outside world,” Captain Lee said on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen on October 5. “But we knew that something was happening out there but we didn’t know exactly what, because it didn’t really affect us. Because basically we’re isolated once we leave the dock. You’re going to be hard pressed to catch Coronavirus on a yacht. It’s really difficult.”
Andy Cohen countered and suggested, “On the other hand if somebody had it on the yacht then everybody gets it.” Captain Lee agreed saying, “Very very possible absolutely. We didn’t really realize the severity of what was transpiring on the outside world until later in the season.”