Every single member of the Below Deck crew was instrumental in making sure Ashton Pienaar was safe, happy, and healthy during and after his overboard accident, which we saw in Tuesday night's episode. However, the deckhand was especially grateful for someone not technically a part of the M/Y Seanna crew: the show's cameraman Brent Freeburg.
When the tow line attached to the tender wrapped around Ashton's ankle and dragged him into the water, Brent immediately dropped his camera and helped get the line loose so that the deckhand could get free and swim to the vessel for safety. "As I hit the water, I was fighting to get my head up, to get air. I realized the line is gonna now take tension. It was the most intense force I ever felt in my life the way that that line tightened around my ankle. In that moment, I mentally prepared myself for my foot to be ripped off. Nobody would have got to me in time to stop the bleeding, and I would have just bled out in the water," Ashton explained in an interview during the episode. "Brent managed to get those lines off just in time, so I owe my life to the guy."
Brent reflected on the incident with great humility on Twitter as the episode aired Tuesday night. In one tweet, he said that he still feels "anxious" when he rewatches it. "There were a few of us that came together in the very last moments possible, to do an urgent thing," he wrote in another tweet. "Thankfully, we managed to get it done."
Captain Lee Rosbach gave us some insight into how Brent knew exactly what to do in that scary situation. "Brent is a senior shooter and a certified diver so the water and safety are no stranger to him," he tweeted on Tuesday, December 11.
Captain Lee also called Brent "a genuine hero" and even offered Brent his Stud of the Sea title, although the cameraman couldn't possibly accept. "There's only one true Stud of the Sea Captain Lee... It's you," he tweeted.
After Andy Cohen himself praised Brent for his heroic act, Brent highlighted the fact that the Below Deck family is a team. "We all look out for each other on #BelowDeck," Brent tweeted.
Of course, past and present members of the Below Deck crew showed Brent a lot of love on social media.
Photo: @josiahcarter_/Instagram Stories
See the emotional aftermath of Ashton's accident, below.