Fraser Olender‘s onscreen relationship with Captain Sandy Yawn on Below Deck was quite rocky, but they’ve since gotten to a better place.
“I saw Captain Sandy in London about three weeks ago. Of course, we get along,” Fraser, 30, exclusively told Us Weekly at BravoCon on Friday, November 3, before waving off their past drama. “This happened so long ago. People think it’s all current. It happened two years ago.”
He added: “We are friends [and] we’re buddies. She taught me a lot. I’m very grateful for her.”
Sandy, 59, temporarily joined season 10 of Below Deck to relieve Captain Lee Rosbach while he dealt with health issues. Viewers saw Fraser and Sandy at odds after she fired stews Camille Lamb and Alissa Humber. Sandy then claimed Fraser was to blame for the issues in the interior department before calling him a “cancer” affecting St. David.
“The fish stinks at the head and right now you are that head. What you have done is created the worst experience that I have ever experienced on a boat with a chief stew,” she said in a February episode. “When you have insubordination and just blatant disrespect, I don’t have room for that. It started with Fraser, and it needs to end with Fraser. He lacks respect for authority and he needs to earn my respect back.”
Fraser started crying when he recalled the conversation to his mother.
“I was really upset about the way I was spoken to by Captain Sandy, and I voiced my opinion to the rest of the crew. And the captain caught wind of that somehow — and has named me the cancer of the crew,” he said before bursting into tears. “If someone refers to cancer to me ever again — with what I went through with my father — it makes me disgusted. The fact that she thinks so negatively of me makes me feel utterly horrendous.”
After the episode aired, Sandy walked back her comments following backlash from viewers.
“I had cancer and I will say this — I should have chosen different words,” she admitted to Us in February. “I’ve been a captain for many years [and] those were the terms we used. So, [in terms of] evolving, I would change my terminology for sure. [It was a] bad choice of words.”
Sandy, however, stood by her frustration with Fraser’s performance as a leader. “There was a moment [where I considered firing him]. Absolutely. Because listen, the walls are thin, and [it is important to not] jump on their bandwagon. Change that narrative. That’s your role as the superior here,” she added. “You’re absolutely responsible for your team. So, I didn’t go to the [interior] team members [with my issues]. I went to the chief stew and said, ‘This isn’t happening. You hired them. Fix it.’”
Lee, 73, ultimately came back on board to finish off the season. The Below Deck OG won’t be back for season 11, though — Below Deck Adventure‘s Captain Kerry Titheradge will step into the role instead.
Fraser, for his part, had nothing but praise for his new captain.
“They’re all brilliant in their own right,” Fraser said about working with Kerry, Sandy and Lee. He went on to tease the challenges from season 11, adding, “I feel like I grew a lot this season. But I obviously was not given the perfect crew, so that was a struggle. But you’ll see it’s a disaster.”
Kerry also weighed in on joining a new series in the Below Deck franchise. He said Lee offered him some advice about taking over, noting, “He said I had a good crew. He told me that I had a great chief stew and he was right.”
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi