What Is the Biggest Difference Between Captain Sandy from ‘Below Deck Med’ and Captain Lee from ‘Below Deck?’

Captain Sandy Yawn from Below Deck Mediterranean and Captain Lee Rosbach from Below Deck are both fan favorites.

Each captain brings a special style to the leadership role in their respective franchises, but in a different way. Fans often compare the two and Yawn addressed how their approaches and careers differ.

Sandy Yawn |Photo by Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

She recently discussed the terrifying accident that occurred last season of Below Deck. Deckhand Ashton Pienaar was yanked from the swim platform when a rope wrapped around his ankle. He could have drowned but a fast-acting cameraman cut the rope and Pienaar was saved. Yawn reflected on how Rosbach must have felt, plus one of the biggest differences between the two.

Training is key

Yawn talked about the fateful accident when she appeared on What What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. She shared her insights during the After Show about how serious the accident could have become. “But my reaction was I knew exactly how Captain Lee felt,” she said. “He probably wanted to drop to his knees, just the thought of killing someone.”

“Captain Lee would have ended up in prison no matter what even if it wasn’t his fault,” Yawn remarked. “Because we hold a federal license, so no matter what. You see these captains go to prison in aviation and maritime.”

She added that an untrained crew opens the charter up to accidents like Pienaar’s. “When you have a new crew that you don’t really get to train, it makes it harder,” she added.

You’ve come a long way, baby

While Yawn and Rosbach are both seasoned yacht captains, Yawn shared this one thing that really differentiated her career path from his. “We have two very different career paths,” she explained to Decider.

“I was a busy charter captain in the Mediterranean,” she continued. “That wasn’t Captain Lee. I have respect for him. We get along. He’s great, he refers to me as kiddo. He’s a great guy. But my career as a woman in this industry, I worked hard to get to where I am. When you’re a guy it’s an easier climb, right?”

Captain Sandy Yawn |Photo by Greg Endries/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Indeed, Yawn is right. Women have to fight harder because they are not viewed as leaders in the industry. “The reality remains that as a woman working in yachting, you will most likely be at the bottom of any list of possible candidates when applying for these roles, regardless of experience or qualifications,” according to YPI Crew.

Changing the landscape

Yawn receives messages and tweets from a number of fans thanking her for being a role model. A fan recently tweeted, “As a father of 2 girls, It’s inspiring to see a woman in a male dominated field as well as member of LGBT community as Captain on a mega yacht being televised around the world handle herself with such authority & class. Good for you @CaptSandyYawn.” 

The landscape may be opening up to more women in leadership positions. Captain Kate McCue became the first American woman to captain a cruise ship in 2015, The New York Times reports.

Malia White, Hannah Ferrier, Bobby Giancola, Adam Glick, Sandy Yawn, Wes Walton, Lauren Cohen, Max Hagley, Bugsy Drake |Photo by Virginia Sherwood/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

McCue said the vision of a captain is changing. “There used to be the wrath of the captain. Those captains were older, stricter men and they ran the ships very differently. I’m part of a generation called the new age captains. We’re in our late 30s and early 40s.”