During the premiere episode, which aired on Monday, September 25, Sandy was alerted that bosun Ruan Irving‘s paperwork might not be completely accurate.
“In this port — because it is so highly regulated — an MCA officer can board the vessel at any time and it is all about a safe operation of the vessel. From life rafts to certificates that we have to hold,” she explained during a confessional after the Officer of the Watch scanned each crew member’s documents.
According to the officer, Ruan submitted a “not certified” medical license. “These are all photocopies of a certified copy,” the officer told Sandy and Ruan. “You should always have the originals. The boat can be detained for that. … On a private boat it is fine. On a commercial yacht, it’s a bit more strict.”
Ruan, for his part, stood by the paperwork but admitted he didn’t have the originals on him, saying, “I left them in a safe at home so I made certified copies at the police station. I can try to get them sent here.”
In response, Sandy requested for Ruan to get his documents shipped as soon as possible by a friend. Meanwhile, the captain wasn’t allowed to leave the dock until the situation was sorted out.
“That is not OK. We are in a bind. For the MCA officer, he wants originals. There’s a reason why [he wants them], you can’t forge an original,” she explained to the camera.
Before Ruan’s paperwork arrived, Sandy received a call from the Port Authority as well because the bosun’s Yachtmasters appeared to be forged. Sandy tried to scan the document — only for someone else’s photo to pop up.
“You have got to be freaking kidding me. This is someone else’s picture on Ruan’s certificate. This is major, this is like a whole different level. This is not OK,” Sandy noted. “The entire vessel could be arrested because of one crew member.”
Sandy asked Ruan to explain himself but his version of events triggered another “big red flag” for his boss. After Ruan claimed he received his Yachtmasters on a boat in Monaco, Sandy was quick to point out that the process doesn’t work that way.
“On one of the boats because the ticket expired, we needed to get a ticket done quickly. A guy came on the boat and he issued us our tickets,” he noted before Sandy mentioned that he had to “go to class” to be properly certified.
Ruan continued: “I have been on boats for three years with that same ticket and I swear to God the last thing on my mind is that the ticket was false.”
Due to the confusion, Sandy had no choice except to leave Ruan on the dock to verify his documents. She told Ruan to update her once he was set and he would be brought back to lead the deck team.
“I am a factual person. I am seeing what I see — this is a problem. Sometimes mistakes happen, however, I am kind of thinking this isn’t the case here,” she shared in a confessional. “Regardless this is really bad and I am in a horrible situation having to start the first charter without a chief stew and now a bosun.”
Later in the episode, Ruan called to let Sandy know he had no plans to return.
“Sorry about this captain but I don’t think I am going to get the ticket sorted in time. I don’t want to hold the vessel up any longer, I am just going to go back home and I don’t think I am going to come back,” he told Sandy over the phone. “I am kind of just deciding to just call it quits and just head back to South Africa. I am just going to go back home and sort out what I need to sort out.”
Below Deck Mediterranean airs on Bravo Mondays at 9 p.m. ET.