Below Deck season 10 fans were shocked to learn Captain Lee Rosbach actually leaves superyacht St. David early in the charter season for health problems. The 73-year-old “Stud of The Sea” told the Below Deck season 10 cast at the end of episode 4 he was ending his charter season early. Captain Lee underwent spinal surgery in December 2021, not long before filming season 10 in the New Year. It appears the recovery symptoms from his specific kind of back surgery for spinal stenosis are the reasons why Captain Lee left Below Deck season 10 early.
“As you guys know I’ve been struggling with my mobility. And it’s been hard, and I’ve let you guys down. And for that I apologize. So I’ve made a decision to leave the boat,” Captain Lee sadly informs his crew. Fans are upset that Below Deck Med‘s Captain Sandy Yawn is the all-but-confirmed replacement captain on Below Deck season 10.
Why Captain Lee’s Spinal Surgery Caused Him To Leave Below Deck Season 10 At Start Of Charter Season
Captain Lee underwent serious spinal surgery in the middle of December 2021 and spent that week in the hospital. He had severe spinal stenosis, which is common in people over 50 from wear and tear in the joints of the spine. Lumbar decompression surgery generally takes four to six weeks to recover from. However, for jobs which involve strenuous activity full recovery time can take three to six months. Captain Lee may have rushed back to his job too soon. He only had around a month or a month-and-a-half before starting yachting work again while filming Below Deck season 10. He wasn’t fully recovered on the show because he was still using a cane and crutches. Furthermore, he called his doctor and described serious symptoms such as lacking feeling in his body. He also felt severe pain.
If Captain Lee wasn’t filming the show, he likely wouldn’t have been greenlit to commandeer a superyacht in his condition. A lot of the Below Deck reality TV show is scripted, despite claims from the creator it’s unscripted. Show producers may have brought Captain Lee aboard briefly with plans for him to be replaced due to his health. Captain Lee leaving early certainly is dramatic.
Spinal stenosis sufferers experience a range of symptoms ranging from severe pain in the back, weakness/numbness/tingling/cramping of their legs, loss of feeling in their feet, pain in the buttocks and lower back called sciatica, and lack of sexual ability. Some patients afflicted with severe spinal stenosis even lose control of their bladder and/or bowel control.
Captain Lee Could Return For Below Deck Season 11 After Captain Sandy Replaces Him
So far Captain Lee doesn’t know if he’ll be invited back to film Below Deck season 11. He said he will do another season if he’s invited back by the show’s production team.
I will if they invite me back. https://t.co/T2lpBoNxgg
— Captain Lee (@capthlr) December 17, 2022
Meanwhile, Captain Lee continues to hit the gym, lifting weights to build up his fitness in order to continue working. Fans will have to keep an eye out for Below Deck Reddit in early 2023 when Below Deck season 11 starts filming. In early 2022 fans spotted Captain Sandy on superyacht St. David filming the rest of Below Deck season 10.
Captain Lee also told fans he’s doing much better since leaving the show abruptly at the start of this year. He’s now got a pretty clean bill of health.
I know Robb, been a tough run, but doing so much better now, back in my routine. Thanks ?. https://t.co/ymWF9fc0Bg
— Captain Lee (@capthlr) December 13, 2022
He also attended BravoCon 2022, without a cane or crutches, where his good friend and former chief stew Kate Chastain interviewed him and the other captains from the Below Deck franchise.
Even if Captain Lee doesn’t return for Below Deck season 11, at least he got one last hurrah. He seemed to really enjoy his last dinner with the all-women ER doctor charter guests.
@capthlr is a legend. He is charismatic, funny and a consummate professional. He joined us for the most fabulous 5 hour meal prepared by the wonderful Chef Rachel. We were honored to have spent such quality time with him. #BelowDeck @BravoTV pic.twitter.com/Xa2KDirMUT
— JJ ??????? (@charmedjewelz) December 13, 2022
Captain Lee had previous health problems before showing up for the previous two charter season. He showed up late on Below Deck season 8 after slipping in the shower and having a serious contusion (bruise). He missed the first charter on Below Deck season 9 because he had heart surgery for his AFib condition. Before his most recent health aliments, he underwent foot surgery twice. In 2015 he had foot surgery. In 2018 he had foot surgery again.