‘Below Deck Med’: João Franco Reveals What He Would Do If He Found a Crew Member With Drugs

Although he is now a yacht captain, former Below Deck Mediterranean bosun João Franco hypothesized what he would have done if he discovered someone from his crew had drugs on board the yacht.

Joao Franco, Hannah Ferrier
Joao Franco, Hannah Ferrier |Greg Endries/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank

During an Instagram Live with Colin Macy-O’Toole, Franco addressed the current season and upcoming episode where Captain Sandy Yawn is seen confronting a crew member after learning the yachtie has drugs on board the yacht. As the bosun during his second season, he shared what he would have done in the same position.

“So if I were to find them and see them personally, I would be oblivious to what it was,” he laughed. “If something leading to the matter of me thinking that they’re taking something where it’s affecting their ability to work, I would absolutely say something. But I would first say it to that person and then take it further. That is my obligation.”

His obligation is safety first, but he’d still alert the crew member

He added that safety is paramount on a yacht. “So my obligation to maintain safety is to approach the person to say, listen, I know of this,” he continued.

“Does the captain know this?” he hypothesized as though he was talking to the crew member. “Yes, the captain knows of it, and Okay, no problem. Would you mind if we just go and discuss it together? Because I feel that it’s affecting your ability to work.”

Managers have a moral and a legal obligation

Franco recounted when deckhand Travis Michalzik slipped his phone number to a guest. Doing this is certainly against code and possibly a fireable offense. But Franco handled the situation differently. He didn’t go to Yawn but shared with Instagram followers there’s a difference between putting the safety of the guests and crew in jeopardy versus violating the rules.

He also said he had to consider the implications of turning in Michalzik and what it would do to crew morale. “So I was faced with a dilemma of whether to tell Captain Sandy or not,” Franco says. “And that, in my mind, would do two things. One, she would fire the guy because it is that big a deal. Two she would say, ‘Let it go.’ But I would also have now Travis against me, which then would lead to Jack [Stirrup] against me.”

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But when it comes to finding prescription medication, he said crew should first consider if the medication was previously registered with the captain, which crew members must do by law. “It’s illegal to carry prescription drugs without telling the captain,” Franco asserts. “Because of the safety of the vessel.”

Franco guarantees this is not the position Captain Sandy wanted to be in

He mulled over how the scenario will play out because Franco wondered if personal feelings clouded how the drug discovery was presented to Yawn. Franco added that he’s seeing this season going in a darker direction than last season of Below Deck Med.

Franco admits that he wished he never saw Michalzik giving his phone number to the guest. He also guarantees Yawn wishes she never received a photo of the drugs too.

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“If Captain Sandy has been sent something it is her obligation to take action because she’s been sent it,” he says. “I can guarantee you she wishes she never got anything. Because if she has, especially on TV, I’m afraid to say you have to take action. You have to make a moral decision. And you have to make a professional decision at the same time.”