Before the season eight premiere of Below Deck Mediterranean ever left the dock, one crew member was forced to abandon the boat.
Captain Sandy Yawn has returned to the wheelhouse alongside some familiar cast members, but her preparations for the maiden charter were thwarted when head stewardess Tumi Mhlongo and steward Kyle Viljoen were unable to enter Italy owing to visa concerns.
As if it wasn’t bad enough, the 59-year-old was forced to leave bosun Ruan Irving on the dock just after their guests arrived because to a CV issue.
Despite the star’s claim that he had ‘been a bosun for roughly three years,’ she saw that his yachtmaster credentials looked to belong to someone else.
Captain Sandy drew him into an office and showed him that someone else’s photo had surfaced in the database instead of his own.
‘Who is that guy? Whoever issued this, it’s not yours, it’s this other guy,’ she said.
When she clarified if he went to a school, Ruan appeared to hesitate, leading to her pleading with him to be ‘honest with her’.
‘I mean, honestly, if you didn’t go to a class…’ she continued, before he interjected: ‘I did do all that.’
He explained that he obtained his credentials in Monaco, with his new boss stating that this could not be the case as ‘they don’t have a school in Monaco’ for a yachtmasters certification.
‘I’ve been on boats for three years with that ticket,’ Ruan vowed.
A baffled Captain Sandy replied: ‘We’re going to have to leave you on the dock. Let’s verify this. If it’s verified, then a tender will bring you to the boat.
‘If it isn’t, I can’t bring you back on board.’
Speaking to the camera, she admitted that something wasn’t adding up in Ruan’s story, stating: ‘I’m a factual person. I’m seeing what I see, this is a problem. Sometimes mistakes happen, however, I’m thinking this isn’t the case here.
‘Regardless, this is really bad. I’m in a horrible situation, having to start the first charter without a chief stew and now a bosun.’
Captain Sandy was anxious for someone competent to head the external crew, so Luka Brunton, who had recently been in season two of the Below Deck Down Under spin-off, was compelled to take over.
This wasn’t the end of her worries, as Ruan subsequently called to say he wouldn’t be returning since he was dealing with personal concerns following the death of a friend.
Things escalated from bad to worse shortly as the credits rolled, when she was informed that no bosuns were available for two weeks…
Will Luka be able to keep things operating smoothly on deck during that period?
Below Deck Mediterranean airs on Mondays on Bravo, and is available to stream the same day on hayu in the UK.