‘Below Deck Mediterranean’ Season 5 Was the Toughest for Producer Nadine Rajabi

Despite experiencing it all on Below Deck, executive producer Nadine Rajabi said Below Deck Mediterranean Season 5 was the toughest season thus far. She recalled the moment chief stew Hannah Ferrier was caught with Valium and a vape pen and how she felt conflicted because she had worked closely with Ferrier for five seasons. But she knew production’s hands, and Captain Sandy Yawn’s hands were tied, which made the situation even harder.

‘Below Deck Mediterranean’ Season 5 had to follow maritime law

“That was really tough because you know you’re watching something that was unfolding,” she recounted on the Melissa Rivers’ Group Text podcast. “To the outside world, anti-anxiety medication or THC that’s legal in California is very benign. But to maritime law, not so much.”

Hannah Ferrier from Below Deck Mediterranean works in the galley kitchen
Hannah Ferrier from Below Deck Mediterranean works in the galley kitchen |Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo

“And so it became very controversial watching something like that happen to our chief stew of five seasons get let go from the boat,” she continued. “Which has nothing to do with the series. And fans are still in an uproar about it, like how could you let this person go. But it’s like that’s what makes the show so real and interesting. That has nothing to do with production. That’s maritime law and that’s what’s real.”

Hannah Ferrier and Nadine Rajabi from ‘Below Deck Mediterranean’ remain good friends

But Rajabi agreed it was still extremely tough at the same time. “Because I’m great friends with Hannah,” she said. “She’s great. She’s a great friend of mine. We talk all the time. And I’m great friends with Sandy. Like that was a really hard thing for me to watch because I have a lot of empathy and I am a very empathetic person and I have a bleeding heart. So when I watch things like that happen and seeing somebody hurt like that, I want to go out there and hug that person.”

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“Or stop that person,” she added. “I see somebody cry, like if somebody has a breakup. If somebody’s fighting, there’s nothing more that I want to do than say like, ‘No guys please stop!’ I can’t do that. It’s like you really have to let them solve their own problems and figure it out. I can’t be their mother. I can’t be their release valve. I’m just there to document it. It’s a hard place to be in, but those are some of the moments.”

Nadine Rajabi reveals when she will intervene on ‘Below Deck Mediterranean’

While Rajabi and the production crew won’t intervene, she will stop certain dangerous situations from occurring. “Something happens this season, which we don’t show,” she said about Below Deck Mediterranean Season 6. “Where I’ve had to go out and stop the situation. So there’s a lot of times like that where I will not tolerate that. And it’s not OK. It’s unacceptable and those are the times when I will step in and go this isn’t OK or you’ve got to let people go in those situations.”

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 “No violence,” she added. “Never violence. Racism, sexism. Any of those things. There’s times where I’ve been prepared if there’s somebody that I feel is too drunk and they’re in danger. I’ve been prepared where I’ve gone out and I’m like hey get out of the jacuzzi this is not OK.”