‘Below Deck Med’: Captain Sandy Says Season 5 Was the Toughest Season So Far

Captain Sandy Yawn from Below Deck Mediterranean says this season was both the toughest, but also the most rewarding of the series for her.

Captain Sandy Yawn from 'Below Deck Med'
Captain Sandy Yawn | Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo

She opened up about the stress of the season and said that some of what occurred on the show sent her to the phones to see if any of her captain friends experienced anything similar. “I always say this season was the toughest season on me, but the most rewarding,” she said on the Behind the Velvet Rope with David Yontef podcast. “It’s definitely going to be the biggest wow factor ever.”

“I just go like, is this really happening?” she said of some of the dramatic events. “Maybe a couple of times where I go, ‘What am I going to do?’ I ask myself and then I call my other captain friends, ‘Hey, what’s it like on your boat?’ And then I don’t feel so bad. I go to my cabin and I call captains that are on charter. And I go, ‘You won’t f**king believe this.’ So we all have these conversations. I’m like, ‘Oh, okay. This happens all the time.'”

Yacht captains just wanted the crew to do their job

She says her goal on charter is for the crew to do their job. “All I want them to do is come up the stairs and do their job,” she said adding that other captains agree. “They’re like ‘Exactly! Can’t they just do their effing job?’ Who gives a sh*t what’s going on downstairs? None of us care, none of us want to know.”

“We just want them to come up those stairs and do their job,” she continued. “Cause that’s what we signed up for. We didn’t sign up for a love triangle. You know, I don’t care. You can have an orgy on the freaking crew mess table. I don’t care.”

Yawn adds that clients who vacation on a superyacht demand a higher level of service and each boat competes for business. “And that’s really what we have to do on a superyacht to justify the kind of money they spend,” she said. “And they do critique us like, the charter clients go back to their charter broker and say, ‘I’ll never book that crew again.’ Or ‘I think those crew are amazing. I’ll book those crew again.’ It’s not about the boat. It is about the crew.”

The buck stops with the captain

The responsibility is on the captain if the crew doesn’t perform or if something dangerous occurs. “We’re a real professional industry just because of your watches they think we’re friends, we’re not friends,” she said of her crew. “I’m their superior. Ultimately I am in charge and I’m responsible for their lives.”

“If something catastrophic happens, God forbid, one of them gets really hurt, I’m responsible,” she said. “I get held accountable, not the owner. Because we’re on a foreign flag vessel in a foreign country. So we’re essentially a floating country. We’re governed by the laws of those countries. So say, for example, a crew member goes to jail. I have to bail them out. They’re my responsibility. I can’t just leave them there. Then if I have to terminate someone, I have to repatriate them. I can’t leave them in a country.”


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She adds that the job extends beyond just driving the boat. “A lot of people don’t understand that,” Yawn said. “Captains go to prison and their license gets taken away if something bad happens. And I will never risk my license. And I think a lot of the viewers think, Oh my gosh, you know, they, I don’t know what they think. They don’t think it’s a real job, but it really is.”