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Captain Lee Rosbach Says He Owes Captain Sandy Yawn for Taking Over for Him on Below Deck

Captain Lee Rosbach is thankful Captain Sandy Yawn was able to temporarily step in for him on Below Deck when nerve issues in his left leg caused him to unexpectedly depart the series.

“She really did me a solid,” he tells PEOPLE, looking back on when the Below Deck Mediterranean star took over for him, a moment that played out on Monday’s episode. “I’m grateful she was there.”

“That’s a very difficult situation that I put her in,” notes Rosbach, 73. “You’re taking over somebody else’s boat and somebody’s else’s crew. That’s hard enough as it is — now add on top of it the fact that you’re also filming a TV show and you’ve got me over here saying, ‘By the way, I may or may not be back. It’s open-ended, but I’ll do my best!’ I recognize how hard that is.”

“The fact that she was willing to jump in; that she sucked it up and came on board and did what I asked her to do? I owe her big time for that,” Rosbach adds. “For her to step forward and take it on says a lot about her.”

WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- "BravoCon" Episode 16186 -- Pictured: (l-r) Captain Sandy, Captain Lee (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE WITH ANDY COHEN -- "BravoCon" Episode 16186 -- Pictured: (l-r) Captain Sandy, Captain Lee (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Charles Sykes/Bravo

Robach, who has been captaining Below Deck since its debut 10 seasons ago, certainly expressed his thanks to Yawn upon her arrival in St. Lucia on Monday’s episode.

“Thanks for coming,” he told her, as she hugged him. “I appreciate you coming on such short notice. I’ll do my best to get back as quickly as I can to relieve you.”

Yawn, for her part, said she was happy to help. “Captain Lee and I go way back,” said the reality star, who joined Below Deck Mediterranean back in season 2. “So when I heard about Captain Lee’s situation, I felt terrible. Who wants to leave because you can’t physically do it?”

“It’s never easy taking over for another Captain,” she added. “My hope is that Captain Lee feels supported. I’m here to take care of his boat and his crew until he gets back.”

She then shook his hand before he exited the St. David motor yacht, telling him, “Go get better.”

Captain Lee Rosbach and Captain Sandy Yawn

Captain Lee Rosbach and Captain Sandy Yawn

Captain Lee Rosbach and Captain Sandy Yawn.
Bravo

Viewers will have to wait for Rosbach’s return, but hopefully not too long — he exclusively revealed to PEOPLE that he’ll be back by season’s end.

That was a goal he set before he left. “I made a promise to the crew before I left that I would be back before they were done, before the season was over, and I would walk on board by myself unassisted,” Rosbach said previously. “I’m happy to say that I was able to fulfill the promise.”

“That was a very proud moment for me,” he added. “I wanted to be able to finish what I started.”

As for his health now, Rosbach says that extensive physical therapy helped strengthen his muscle to compensate for the nerve damage, which is still healing.

“I’m feeling great. Right now everything is in a good place. But it was a bit of a rough patch there,” he says.

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