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Crime News Deadly Waters with Captain Lee

Captain Lee Rosbach Wants You to Know These Nautical Terms — and When Not to Go to Sea

The Below Deck yacht captain, who now hosts Deadly Waters with Captain Lee, had some pointers for heading out to sea, including how to know when it's too dangerous to go.

By Jax Miller

The host of Deadly Waters with Captain Lee has imparted some of his seaworthy wisdom to true crime audiences in an interview with Oxygen True Crime.

How to Watch

Watch Deadly Waters with Captain Lee on Oxygen Saturdays at 9/8c and next day on Peacock. 

Below Deck’s original yacht captain Lee Rosbach, the host of the new original true crime series about maritime murders, continues taking viewers into the world of the high seas. But Captain Lee, who didn’t find his sea legs until he was in his 30s, thinks it's essential that anyone willing to venture out into the deep knows a thing or two before doing so, including some helpful nautical terms.

First things first:

What are the main parts of the boat?

“When referring to the parts of the boat, the front of the boat is the pointy end, the back of the boat is the square end, the right is over here, and the left is the other side,” joked the otherwise no-nonsense skipper.

But Captain Lee explained that the front of the boat was actually called the bow, the rear was the stern, the right side was starboard, and the left was port.

“And the way you remember that is there are more letters in ‘right’ than there are in ‘left,’” which is also the case for starboard versus port, he explained.

He joked that there was “about six inches” difference when asked about a nautical mile in comparison to what land lovers call a regular mile (or a statute mile in the world of navigation).

Captain Lee Rosbach on Watch What Happens Live

“A nautical mile is 6,000 feet,” Captain Lee then explained. “A statute mile is 5,280 feet.”

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One knot is the equivalent of one nautical mile per hour, about 1.15 miles per hour.

When is it too dangerous to go out on the water?

According to Captain Lee, seafarers are always best to err on the side of caution.

“If the rain’s going sideways, it’s probably a safe bet for you not to be out there,” he said. “And when in doubt, don’t.”

Of course, mariners should always have an ample supply of emergency supplies. “All of them,” in fact.

They include a line-throwing device, safety rings, life rafts, personal floatation devices (or P.F.D.s, such as life jackets), flares, emergency rations, an automatic water-activated life raft, signaling devices, handheld GPS gear, and handheld radios, Captain Lee listed off.

Very High Frequency marine radio, also known as V.H.F., is also crucial for boaters to best communicate with other boaters, the U.S. Coast Guard, bridge operators, and more.

More safety tips from Captain Lee

The super yacht captain had some sound advice for those wanting to operate a vessel on the water.

“My top safety tips? Never approach a stationary object, like the dock, any faster than you want to hit it,” said Captain Lee.

He also emphasized the importance of never driving under the influence, something the U.S. Coast Guard named as the continuing leading cause of fatal accidents among recreational boaters, according to its 2023 report published earlier this year.

“You shouldn’t pilot a boat under the influence of anything,” he continued. “Except for maybe a beautiful redhead.”

Of course, Captain Lee was talking about his wife of nearly 50 years, the lovely Mary Anne Rosbach.

Deadly Waters with Captain Lee continues to cover maritime crime from some of the sea’s wildest homicide cases, featuring fatal vacations, ghost ships, stormy seas, and so much more. Read more from this season’s earliest episodes, including a crew that disappeared while en route from Florida to the Bahamas and the case of a California woman whose reported wipeout from a rogue wave eventually ended in a murder conviction.

Watch all-new episodes of Deadly Waters with Captain Lee, airing Saturdays at 9/8c on Oxygen.