In terms of his TV fame, Captain Lee Rosbach's ship came in quite unexpectedly.
Speaking with Ellen DeGeneres on Friday's episode of her daytime talk show, the Below Deck star revealed that he was cast on the hit Bravo reality series "by accident."
Rosbach was already working on a boat when his boss called him and said, " 'Some TV network wants to do a TV show on the boat and they want to charter it for six weeks, and all you have to do is go down to St. Maarten [and] drop the boat off.' "
He was told that the television team in St. Maarten had "their own captain" and "their own crew," and that Rosbach's job would be to simply enjoy the surroundings and check in on the boat every few days as he got "paid double" for his time — and of course, he was game.
"But for one reason or another, the captain that they had selected couldn't fulfill his obligations. So they had a conundrum, because we were already late into the game," Rosbach recalled. "And they needed a captain, so they said, 'Well, I guess we'll use the old guy.' "
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Jackie Siegel Says Husband "Bonded" with Below Deck's Captain Lee over Losing a Child to Addiction
Later in the interview, Rosbach also opened up to DeGeneres, 63, about his son Joshua, who died of an accidental drug overdose in July 2019 at the age of 42.
Speaking about why he thought it was important to talk about his son's death on the show, the captain said, "I don't think enough people are paying attention to it — they don't realize that addicts aren't the dregs of society."
"It crosses all social boundaries. It doesn't make any difference how much money you have or don't have; it affects everybody," he said of addiction. "I don't believe, in the last two years, I've talked to anyone who doesn't know of someone personally that has paid a steep price for this opioid crisis that we have, and nobody says anything about it."
"It's the elephant in the room that people don't want to confront, and I just think it has to be, even though it makes you extremely uncomfortable and [it's] very painful to do so," Rosbach added. "Somebody has to step up."
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When asked by the host how he's doing nowadays, Rosbach said he's taking life "one day at a time" in terms of his grief.
"The hole in your heart's never gonna go away — you can't replace it with anything else," the reality star explained. "We're not generally constructed to bury our children. From the time you're born, you grow up and your parents pass away. It's not the other way around."
"And when that happens, it's completely devastating," Rosbach went on. "And so you deal with it. You hope that you develop better coping skills to get through it."
Below Deck airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT on Bravo.
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