Captain Lee Rosbach Forced to Exit 'Below Deck' Season Early: 'One of the Most Humbling Experiences of My Life'

Rosbach, who has helmed the Bravo yachting series since its debut in 2013, could not overcome health issues and decided to leave the charter season early: "I owe it to my crew to do right by them"

Captain Lee Rosbach is disembarking from Below Deck.

The Bravo personality (nicknamed "The Stud of the Sea") announced his exit on Monday's episode, informing his crew that persistent health issues meant he'd need to bow out of season 10 early.

Rosbach was admittedly struggling with nerve issues when he boarded motor yacht St. David at the start of charter season, but he hoped his symptoms would subside over time. Instead, he shared in a confessional interview: "My injury, it's getting worse. The left side of my body, I don't feel anything:"

He continued, "I expected a lot more progress than I'm experiencing, and the most frustrating part about it is, I can't do a god d--- thing about it, and it's hard."

Later, he told chef Rachel Hargrove, "This has probably been one of the most humbling experiences of my life."

Captain Lee Rosbach
Jim Spellman/Getty Images.

As Monday's episode went on, Rosbach realized he had to consider that his health concerns might have an impact on the whole boat. "The pain's getting worse, not better. I owe it to my crew to do right by them. They expect that out of me," he said.

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"There comes a point if a captain is really being objective, he should be putting the best interests of his crew first because that's your primary responsibility," he affirmed. "As soon as you step on board, check your f---ing ego at the dock. That's where you leave it."

Captain Lee Rosbach
Laurent Bassett/Bravo

At the end of the hour, he called an all-hands meeting, telling his crew: "As you guys know, I've been struggling with my mobility, and it's been hard. And I've let you guys down, and for that I apologize. So I've made a decision to leave the boat."

It remains to be seen who will step into the wheelhouse, but an earlier scene showed Rosbach calling an unnamed fellow captain as he prepared for the premature end of his yachting season. Next week's episode is sure to pick back up and show the fallout of Rosbach's bombshell news.

Captain Lee Rosbach
Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

Below Deck debuted with Rosbach at the helm in July 2013, with this most recent season premiering on Nov. 21. Season 10 features fan-favorite Rosbach, Hargove and chief stew Fraser Olender joined by a new crew in and around the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia.

Before Rosbach's mobility issues led to his early departure, he was enjoying his time with some, ahem, spicy charter guests — one of whom asked him during an elegant dinner: "Is dessert gonna be you, Captain?"

Showing his good humor, Rosbach fanned himself and declared, "I think I'm schvitzing!"

BRAVOCON -- Oh Captain, Our Captains Panel from the Javits Center in New York City on Sunday, October 16, 2022 -- Pictured: (l-r) Captain Lee Rosbach, Captain Kerry Titheradge, Captain Sandy Yawn, Nadine Rajabi, Captain Glenn Shephard and Captain Jason Chambers
Monica Schipper/Bravo via Getty

It's not the first time Rosbach has had to take a step back to take care of himself — season 9 also set sail under the guidance of Captain Sean Meagher while Rosbach missed part of the charter season after an injury.

"I have a condition. The whole boat is your ballgame now." he told friend and first officer Eddie Lucas in the October 2019 premiere, prompting Lucas to later quip in a confessional: "Come back to me, Captain Lee. Come back to me, my boat daddy!"

After a few episodes, Rosbach was able to return to My Seanna and tour St. Kitts with the yacht's crew and charter guests.

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Below Deck airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.

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