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The Daily Dish

Captain Lee Reveals the Accidental Way He Launched His "Magical" Seafaring Career

“I realized that … my life was going to be on the ocean," said the seaman at the helm of Deadly Waters with Captain Lee.

By Joe Dziemianowicz

Captain Lee Rosbach of Bravo’s Below Deck fame has charted a new career course into the briny and bracing world of true crime with Deadly Waters with Captain Lee, premiering Saturday, June 1 at 9/8c on OxygenThe show covers shocking murders aboard boats and other vessels.

Before the show's launch Captain Lee, 74, revealed that his legendary boating career is thanks to “an accident” half a lifetime ago.

“I was living in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Ran out of money. Took a job delivering a sailboat down to the British Virgin Islands,” he told

It was a game-changing journey in which he realized that he was “going to make my living” on the ocean.

How did Captain Lee Rosbach get into boating?

Raised in Saginaw, Michigan, Captain Lee first laid eyes on the ocean when he was in his 30s, per his Bravo bio. He and his wife, Mary Anne Rosbach, had moved to Turks and Caicos to open a restaurant.

Strapped for cash, he answered a help wanted ad seeking a mate for a delivery on a sailboat — “no experience necessary.”

Lee earned his captain’s license, and fell truly, madly, deeply for boating. He left the restaurant world in his wake.

His adventurous career as a seaman wasn’t one that Captain Lee had ever envisioned.  

“Like most things in life it was an accident,” he said in his interview. “I realized that … my life was going to be on the ocean.” 

Here's what you missed on Oxygen:
16-Year-Old Skylar Neese Killed By Friends in Tragic Betrayal: "We Just Didn’t Like Her"
Iowa Mom Shot 20-Year-Old "Neighbor Kid" Nine Times and Prosecutors Didn't Buy Her Home Invasion Claim
Seemingly "Nice" Man with Two Missing Wives Discovered To Have "Chilling History" By Investigators

Captain Lee was at the helm of Bravo’s Below Deck from its 2013 premiere until Season 11. He’s also the author of the 2018 memoir Running Against the Tide: True Tales from the Stud of the Sea.

In his new role on Deadly Waters with Captain Lee, the seasoned seaman will be the host of a series about criminals who have committed some of the most chilling murders to have ever taken place on the water. That includes dream vacations gone wrong and alleged pirates of the Caribbean.

Captain Lee poses for Deadly Waters with Captain Lee

Asked to share the most dangerous situation he has faced at sea, Captain Lee referred to the unpredictability of Mother Nature.

“Storms are probably the most dangerous things that Ive been caught in,” he said. “I’ve been caught in some storms where you had to look up to see the sky.”

You couldn't look out at the horizon because there wasn't any,” he added. “The waves were too big.” 

Situations like that require guts and smarts.

Most you can do is ride it out and do the best you can with what you have to work with," he said.

Captain Lee also asserted that taking stock of what’s up ahead is a must.

No sailor ever just starts out sailing into bad weather,” he said. “Unless they’re stupid. When in doubt, you don't go. The alternatives are pretty ugly.”

Despite inherent dangers and uncertainty, Captain Lee is devoted to the ocean. Why?

Ever been out on the ocean? There's just something magical out there,” he said. And you either get it or you don't.”

Captain Lee definitely gets it. 

Climb aboard with him on Deadly Waters with Captain Lee, premiering Saturday, June 1 at 9/8c on Oxygen. And watch the video above for more of Captain Lee's stories.

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