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Why Isn't Captain Lee on 'Below Deck' Anymore?

Captain Lee

You may notice something different on tonight's Below Deck Season 11 premiere: beloved Captain Lee Rosbach, who had been the captain since the show premiered in 2014, is nowhere to be found. Following a temporary departure from Below Deck Season 10 due to a medical concern involving his back, Rosbach disclosed that he was not asked to return as the captain for Below Deck Season 11. Lee told South Florida’s Sun Sentinel, “I did not quit. I did not retire. I was just not invited back," he said. He also added, however, that he could see Bravo's "point of view."

"They really couldn’t get a straight answer from anyone on how my health was," he said.

Read on to learn more about why Captain Lee isn't on Below Deck.

Related: Everything to Know About 'Below Deck' Season 11

Where is Captain Lee on Below Deck Season 11?

Captain Lee Rosbach, known affectionately by fans as the "Stud of the Sea," will not be appearing in the 11th season of Below Deck. After starring on the show for the past decade and becoming a fan-favorite for his no-nonsense attitude and salty one-liners, Lee will not be returning for Season 11.

Why isn't Captain Lee on Below Deck Season 11?

After holding the captain's seat for the show's entire 10 season run thus far, Captain Lee was caught completely off-guard when producers decided to go in a "new direction" and did not invite him to return for Season 11. According to the captain, neither Bravo nor Below Deck producers provided him with any real explanation for the surprising decision. The reality-TV star was left to theorize himself that perhaps his recent health issues with his back or uncomfortable on-camera tensions with Captain Sandy Yawn may have factored into letting him go.

Producers seem to have opted for fresh blood, bringing on Below Deck Adventure alum Kerry Titheradge to take over captain duties.

Was Captain Lee fired from Below Deck?

While Bravo has not used the word "fired" specifically, Captain Lee was clearly extremely surprised and disappointed to find out he would not be returning as the star of Below Deck after 10 seasons as the leading captain. From Lee's perspective, being let go against his wishes amounts essentially to being fired, even if producers said they’re "going in a new direction."

After being the face of the show since its inception in 2013 and forming close bonds with returning crew members, Lee did not expect or want his tenure to end.

Will Captain Lee be returning to Below Deck?

Despite Bravo's decision to drop him prior to Season 11, Captain Lee has made it very clear that he would happily return to Below Deck if the network came asking. After investing a full decade commanding the show's prestigious super yachts, Lee insists he is neither retired nor done with reality TV. In fact, the 74-year-old says filming Below Deck's compact six-week shooting schedule barely kept him away from yachting full-time.

Should Bravo have a change of heart, Lee is ready to hop back in. “If they found out that they needed me back on the show, I’d go back,” he said. “ I’ve done it for 10 years, and if I’m gonna make an exit, I’d kind of like to make it on different terms.”

Who replaced Captain Lee on Below Deck Season 11?

Stepping in to fill the enormous shoes of beloved "Stud of the Sea" Captain Lee is Captain Kerry Titheradge. Titheradge joins Season 11 of the original Below Deck series after previously appearing on the adventure-themed spinoff Below Deck Adventure. As an experienced captain with existing reality-TV chops, Titheradge likely offers the blend of seasoned credibility and fresh face that Bravo felt necessary to usher in a new era.

Related: Here's When Every 'Below Deck' Franchise Is Coming Back

What is Captain Lee doing now?

At 74 years old, Captain Lee wants fans to know he is far from retired, with or without Below Deck filming obligations. According to Lee, he is currently busier than ever exploring new television opportunities. Though some of those projects remain secretive, he is currently hosting Couch Talk with Captain Lee and Kate alongside legendary chief stew, Kate Chastain. After more than a decade ruling the high seas together, the fan-favorite friends will spill behind-the-scenes secrets and sound off on hot takes as they relax alongside viewers on their (hopefully more stable) sofas.

Captain Lee is also embarking on an exciting new chapter with Deadly Waters, which will showcase his authoritative, commanding presence in the true-crime genre. (Sign us up!) The show marks a major career move for the former Bravo star as he leaves behind his seafaring reality-TV roots to help shed light on mysterious and tragic crimes that have occurred on the high seas over the years.

Next, ‘Below Deck’s Captain Lee Lands New Gig and It’s Not at Bravo