Chef Ben From ‘Below Deck Med’ Reveals How He Could Have Died on a Yacht

As a seasoned yachtie, chef Ben Robinson from Below Deck Mediterranean has a few tales to tell. He mastered his galley kitchen at a young age and is a tenured member of the Bravo franchise.

While he has a number of professional stories to share he recently revealed a personal story that could be a lesson to young yachties. When he got to know the Sirocco crew, he noticed deckhand Travis Michalzik got extremely drunk when the crew went out after charter. In fact, Robinson was the one to ensure Michalzik managed to safely leave the bar and get into a cab.

Ben Robinson
Ben Robinson |Donna Ward/Getty Images

Robinson expressed concern about Michalzik’s drinking on the show but was told that was simply what Michalzik did when the crew went out. During a Below Deck Med After Show Robinson shared a dark story from his past of when the chef got so drunk, he could have died.

No one should get this drunk on a yacht

There are obvious reasons why getting completely hammered while boating is a dangerous idea. “From my personal experience you can’t get that drunk and live on a boat,” Robinson remarks. “Even just boarding the boat, you could fall off and hit your head on the dock. I mean, the boat is moving, it’s swaying. It’s just not a safe enough environment for someone to be that drunk.”

View this post on Instagram

Ben. Is. BACK. He returns to #BelowDeckMed TOMORROW!

A post shared by Below Deck (@belowdeckbravo) on

According to Boat US Foundation, your balance is impacted while drinking, which puts you at greater risk for falling overboard. Additionally, alcohol makes your body less likely to protect itself in cold water. “With alcohol in your blood, the numbing effects of cold water occur much faster than when you are sober,” according to the site. “Within minutes, you may not be able to call for help, swim to a float or reach the safety of the boat.”

Alcohol is the leading contributing cause of death on a boat, according to the American Boating Association. Plus, when the cause of death is identified, 80% of fatalities are due to drowning with 83% of the victims not using a life jacket.

Robinson says this could have been fatal

A few times Below Deck cameras have caught Robinson getting pretty lit. “I have been that drunk on a boat,” he remarks. “I was in Nantucket and we had one of those periscopic gangways. And I guess the tide had come down. So it’s now way beneath the dock.” This type of gangway retracts so it is springy.

Kate Chastain, Ben Robinson, Kat Held
Kate Chastain, Ben Robinson, Kat Held |Virginia Sherwood/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Luckily, Robinson was with a friend. “I didn’t even think about it, I just hopped onto the gangway,” he recalls remembering how the gangway was not stationary. “Next minute I was in the water. I kind of came to the top and my friend Mickey had his arm out to catch me.”

Thankfully Robinson’s friend pulled him to safety. “He made quite a big deal about it,” he continued. “He was like, ‘Ben I had a friend that did that and hit his head on the way down. And he was unconscious.’ And it was bad. So I’m always reminded of that incident.”