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Crime News Deadly Waters with Captain Lee

Who Is Captain Lee? Everything to Know About the Deadly Waters Host

Below Deck's Lee Rosbach is entering new waters as the host of a new Oxygen true crime series. 

By Jax Miller

The man, the myth, the legend: Bravo’s Captain Lee is navigating the depths of true crime in Oxygen’s upcoming series, Deadly Waters with Captain Lee.

How to Watch

Watch Deadly Waters with Captain Lee on Oxygen Saturday, June 1 at 9/8c and next day on Peacock. 

"Below Deck’s beloved Capt. Lee Rosbach is an expert on demanding mega-yacht passengers and a rowdy, mischievous crew. But now he’s steering his ship toward a completely different group of people: criminals, who have committed some of the most chilling murders to have ever taken place on the water. From dream vacations gone wrong, to alleged pirates of the Caribbean and everything in between, these true crime stories are unlike any that take place on land," reads a press release about the show, which premieres on Saturday, June 1 at 9/8c on Oxygen.

Here's what to know about the show's famous captain.

Who is Captain Lee?

Captain Lee Rosbach is the seasoned sea captain at the helm of the Bravo series Below Deck since its 2013 premiere until Season 11.

Since the show and all its spinoffs debuted — which include Below Deck Mediterranean, Below Deck Sailing Yacht, and Below Deck Down Under — Captain Lee has taken a no-nonsense approach to the world of yachting as Bravo’s original captain.

The “Stud of the Sea,” as he's been nicknamed, found his sea legs later in life than many assume, however. Per his Bravo bio, the Saginaw, Michigan-based Lee never even saw the ocean until his 30s when he and his wife, Mary Anne Rosbach, moved to Turks & Caicos to open a restaurant.

“In need of cash, he responded to an ad seeking a mate for a delivery on a sailboat — no experience necessary,” the bio states. “At 35, Lee obtained his captain’s license and left the restaurant behind to pursue his newfound passion.”

The one-time Wendy’s manager has since spent more than three decades operating mega-yachts around the globe.

In 2022, Captain Lee, now 74, announced his departure from Below Deck, citing a nerve issue that affected his ability to walk months into his back surgery recovery, he said in the Season 10 finale.

Captain Lee on Deadly Waters with Captain Lee

Still, Captain Lee shows no sign of slowing down. He and Below Deck Chief Stew Kate Chastain hosted Couch Talk with Captain Lee and Kate — now available to stream on Peacock — giving audiences their thoughts on shows across the Bravosphere. Now, he's moving onto Oxygen's Deadly Waters with Captain Lee.

Captain Lee’s books

In 2018, Captain Lee published his memoir Running Against the Tide: Tales from the Stud of the Sea, and by the sounds of Simon & Schuster’s description, Captain Lee is no stranger to troubled waters.

“From having to reclaim his drunk captain’s papers in the Dominican Republic to unwittingly crewing a drug boat out of Turks and Caicos, to navigating the outrageous demands of the super-rich in New York City, Captain Lee’s tales from the high seas run the gamut, proving time and time again why he’s a fan favorite,” according to the blurb.

Fans can get more of Captain Lee on his website, including tropical-themed hoodies, deck shorts, T-shirts, and more. According to his Instagram page, he’s also an ambassador for Can-Am On-Road three-wheeled motorcycles.

Captain Lee Rosbach attends the red carpet at bravocon 2023

As if any of that wasn’t enough, Lee hosts the Salty with Captain Lee podcast with Sam DeCavalcanti to discuss “pop culture and reality T.V. gossip.” No life jacket required!  

Captain Lee’s advocacy based on personal tragedy

Captain Lee and Mary Anne suffered an unthinkable tragedy in July 2019 when Lee found their 42-year-old son, Joshua Lee Rosbach, dead in his Fort Lauderdale, Florida, home. It was determined their son had died of an accidental drug overdose.

“After a 20-year struggle, he finally succumbed to the demons he fought so long and so hard,” Captain Lee said at the time. “Addiction is an insidious disease that knows no social status or geographic boundaries. Whether you live in a 10,000-square-foot mansion or a double-wide trailer, the path of death, destruction, and devastation it leaves remains the same.”

Ever since, Captain Lee has made it his life’s mission to combat addiction and its stigma. In 2019, he participated in the 14th Annual Sallarulo’s Race for Champions in Fort Lauderdale to raise money for the Special Olympics Florida in his son’s memory.

In 2021, Captain Lee sat for Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen and revealed plans to open an addiction facility on the sea. The rehabilitation center would be on a 470-foot barge and could hold as many as 200 guests at a time.

“We’re also converting it into a vocational center so that not only do we try to get them clean, but we try to get them back into the mainstream of the community with an ability to make a living,” said the captain. “Usually, when they get out … they’ve burned all their bridges when it comes to employment because of drug use, and they have nothing to fall back on. So, you can’t really just kick them back out into society and say, ‘OK, you’re on your own.’ So, we want to give them something viable that they can count on and then go out there and become productive members.”

Just before appearing on WWHL, Lee went before Congress in Washington, D.C., urging lawmakers to do more about the ongoing and “tremendously misunderstood” opioid overdose epidemic.

Who is Captain Lee's wife?

Captain Lee and his wife, Mary Anne Rosbach, married nearly a half century ago and raised five children together.

Mary Anne made her first appearance on Below Deck in Season 5, and though she’s not as active in the spotlight as Lee, she shows up frequently on the captain’s Instagram page.

The husband and wife had a less-than-ideal 48th anniversary out to sea, but Lee was sure to remark, “Damn, I love this woman.” For their 47th anniversary, Lee posted a side-by-side photo of him and his bride in a sepia-toned photo at the Justice of the Peace.

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 In 2017, Lee said on WWHL that distance seemed to keep them strong.

“Actually, I think that is one of the keys to our relationship being successful is that fact that we spend extended periods away from each other,” said Lee. “And the old adage, ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder,’ is true.”

As for their children, the captain admitted that he even (partly) inspired his son, Sean, to get into the industry as a superyacht chef, he told The Daily Dish in 2016.

Not only do Lee and Mary Anne share grandchildren, but they also became great-grandparents in 2021 with the birth of Amelia Charlotte.

When will Deadly Waters air?

Catch up with him on Deadly Waters with Captain Lee, premiering Saturday, June 1 at 9/8c on Oxygen.

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