‘Below Deck’: Captain Lee and Captain Sandy From ‘Below Deck Med’ Face an Especially Tough Christmas

As the world embarks upon the holidays during a global pandemic the captains from Below Deck and Below Deck Mediterranean head into the season dealing with additional loss and pain.

Captain Lee Rosbach, Kate Chastain, Melissa Pfeister, Captain Sandy Yawn, Joao Franco, Colin Macy-O'Toole
Captain Lee Rosbach, Kate Chastain, Melissa Pfeister, Captain Sandy Yawn, Joao Franco, Colin Macy-O’Toole | Ralph Bavaro/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Both Captain Lee Rosbach and Captain Sandy Yawn have endured heartbreaking losses over the past year, beginning with the death of Rosbach’s son Josh. Rosbach has been very open about his son’s death in July 2019, sharing that the pain never ceases.

“I deal with [his son’s death] every day. I hate going to sleep, and I hate waking up,” he shared with Page Six. “There’s a hole there that can’t be filled.”

“And the person who said, ‘time heals all wounds,’ is full of it,” he continued. “It doesn’t. The only thing that time may do for you is allow you to learn the skills you need to cope with the situation that you’re dealing with. As parents, you’re not designed to bury your children.”

Captain Sandy’s niece died before Thanksgiving

Rosbach’s son died from an accidental drug overdose. He shared on Instagram that Josh fought the demons of drug addiction for years.  “After a twenty year struggle, he finally succumbed to the demons he fought so long and so hard,” he wrote. “Addiction is an insidious disease that knows no social status or geographic boundaries.”

Like Rosbach’s son, Yawn’s niece also died from substance abuse. “Today we lay to rest my niece Jessi,” Yawn shared on Instagram. “Alcoholism took her life. She was 39 years young and our hearts are broken! Addiction steals relationships, children, mothers, fathers and more lives! If you are suffering, or someone in your family is from addiction please call 1-855-905-3334.”

RELATED: ‘Below Deck Med’: Captain Sandy Mourns the Loss of Her Niece To Addiction

Yawn is also a recovering alcoholic who personally understands the daily struggle. She recently celebrated being 32 years sober with girlfriend Leah Shafer and close friend Randi Gold.

Captain Sandy’s girlfriend Leah Shafer lost her father and grandmother to COVID

More heartbreak for Yawn and Shafer came recently when Shafer’s father and grandmother died from COVID-19 (coronavirus). Shafer initially revealed that her father was battling the virus and was hospitalized.

Sadly, he succumbed to the virus. “I’m beyond heartbroken!” Shafer shared on Instagram in early December. “I lost my amazing father today to covid. He was a perfectly healthy man and in 3 weeks time the virus took him from us. It happened too fast! We are all in shock yet our faith in God has given us all peace.”

RELATED: ‘Below Deck Med’: Captain Sandy’s Girlfriend Leah Shafer Shares Her Father Has Died From COVID

Weeks later Shafer then shared her grandmother also died. “Well, I’m sad to say that my dad’s mother my grandmother passed away today from covid. It’s been quite a year,” she wrote. “Please give my dad a big hug and kiss from me grandma! I love you.”