Skip to main content

Ashton Pienaar | Ashton Pienaar Instagram

The dramatic accident on Below Deck has fans gasping as they watch a deckhand pulled off the yacht and dragged under water. For the first few episodes, viewers weren’t sure which crew member faces a watery grave. But now everyone knows which unlucky deckhand is pulled off the deck. And terrifying details are now surfacing.

Deckhand, Ashton Pienaar appears to be working alongside fellow deckhand Rhylee Gerber. The two seem extremely busy when suddenly Pienaar is violently dragged off the boat as you can hear his terrifying screams. Thankfully, Pienaar lived and appears to be in good physical condition. Pegged as one of the most shocking accidents in Below Deck history, what exactly happened and how did the crew react?

It happens fast

Captain Lee Rosbaach waits while deckhands loosen tender lines that are wrapped around the fenders. Rosbach waits patiently, radioing the crew to ensure it was all clear to start the motor. Bosun Ross Inia confirms the lines are clear and Rosbach says, “We’re out of here.”

Pienaar and Gerber are still pulling in lines on deck, while the guests observe the scenery. Pienaar is out of the camera’s view but it appears the lines become wrapped around his leg. Gerber tries to grab him as he is dragged helplessly off the deck. She calmly radios the crew, “Man overboard.” To which Rosbach sharply replies, “What?”

The crew reacts

The entire crew acts quickly to ensure Pienaar’s safe rescue. And while they appear professional and very controlled, second stew Josiah Carter recounted to ET about the terrifying situation. “It was honestly the most — it’s the scariest moment I’ve had on yachts,” he said. “Ever. Like, that doesn’t happen on a yacht. You can prepare for it, you can do all the training for that moment you don’t want to happen — you know, like, you buy insurance for your car, you don’t want to use it.”

“You do all this training, you never want to use it,” he continues. “That was the first and only time I’ve had to use it, and I never want to use it again. It was scary.” He adds “It was just shocking. No one expects that to happen. It was the worst thing to happen all season. It kind of shook everyone.”

The crew and others from the series still seem gripped by the accident. Rosbach simply tweeted, “Tough one.” Along with a link to a video of the accident. Captain Sandy Yawn from Below Deck Med wrote, “Something no Capt wants to ever hear: Man Overboard.”

Pienaar was in grave danger

An unconfirmed, unnamed source told All About the Tea, the situation was so bad, Pienaar could have lost a limb. “Ashton was drowning, and every second counted. The situation was gravely serious, and very scary,” the source said. “He was close to death, and is lucky to be alive.”

Apparently, the rope was squeezing Pienaar’s ankle so tightly, “Ashton’s ankle was so destroyed that he only narrowly escaped amputation,” the source said.

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!