‘Below Deck Med’: Which Crew Members Have Gotten Sick?
While getting sick is seriously no fun, becoming ill while working on a superyacht has a whole other set of challenges. Typically crew members must be evaluated to determine if they are contagious. If they are, the crew must work with a man down.
If the crew member is deemed to be contagious they must be quarantined to avoid spreading the illness. While some people may view this practice as being a little cruel, chief stew Hannah Ferrier from Below Deck Mediterranean explained why the crew typically has no choice. “Sometimes people think it’s a little bit cruel because on yachts if someone gets sick we put them in a cabin on their own,” she says. But, “If the whole boat goes down, we can’t charter and the owner loses hundreds of thousands of Euros.”
So which crew members have fallen ill while on charter on Below Deck and Below Deck Med? And were all crew members quarantined?
In addition to being a little lovesick for one of the charter guests, deckhand Danny Zureikat from Below Deck Med season one also became very ill during the season. Zureikat is seen writhing in bed, fighting a high fever and looking extremely sick.
At one point, Zureikat’s fever climbed to 103 degrees. The Ionian Princess was cruising around the Greek Islands and Zureikat was sent to a doctor on land. His illness was deemed to be a virus so he rode it out alone. While Zureikat was on the show, he and Ferrier got into a Twitter smackdown. He asserted while he was ill he insisted on working.
But, he claimed he put on his uniform but “fell to the ground.” He added, “I hate that I am in my room feeling really sick. I want to be working and helping my team.” Shortly after he recovered he was fired for an indiscretion with a charter guest and insubordination.
During season three of Below Deck Med, deckhand Jamie Jason succumbed to a respiratory infection. Her audible coughs could be heard as the crew went on a short holiday. Even though Jason managed to have fun on the crew trip, she eventually ended up in bed.
She expressed her frustration to Captain Sandy Yawn about not being able to work. Yawn insisted that Jason needed to rest and get well before returning to the deck team. Once she’s cleared to return, she continues to cough but eventually recovers.
Before the season starts, chef Mila Kolomeitseva from Below Deck Med season four becomes ill with food poisoning after consuming a shrimp pasta dish. She doesn’t see a doctor but self-diagnosis and tries to continue to work and prepare for charter.
She’s seen running to the bathroom to vomit on several occasions and would then return to continue preparing the galley kitchen. Eventually, Kolomeitseva takes to her bed to try to recover. She manages to rally in time for the guests’ arrival, but much to the crew’s dismay. She is fired after only two charters for serving dishes like Old El Paso tacos and slimy fish from a can.
The most recent crew member to go down, João Franco from Below Deck Med season four becomes extremely ill in the middle of the night. He heads to the hospital and learns he has a virus. Bunkmate Colin Macy-O’Toole is then left to find somewhere else to sleep while Franco rides out his illness alone.
Yawn has a theory about where Franco’s illness is derived. Franco had previously been in the water to release the line on a piece of equipment. “Everyone gets cuts on their hand, especially deck crew” Yawn explains. “Then you’re in a scenario where you are in possibly some raw sewage.”
“We were in an anchorage, and I like to say to every boat even when you treat your sewage, you’re supposed to go offshore,” she adds.“Hepatitis A is sewage-related, so I didn’t want him to infect the crew. Hepatitis A is contagious.”
Caroline Bedol from Below Deck, season six fought with a myriad of health issues. One of the main problems was she woke up to extreme pain and swelling in one of her feet. She visited a local physician who told her the pain and swelling was likely from a bug bite. She was placed on antibiotics but continued to work, usually from a seated position.
Later she developed a sinus infection. After what seemed to be nonstop health issues, Bedol quit. After she left, a fan asked if she ever found out what happened to her foot. “It turns out to be neuropathy. It’s in both feet and hands now. But chin up it could be way worse!” she remarked. “And I didn’t get better….my neuropathy has gotten much worse.”