The boat was seriously rocked in this week’s episode of Below Deck Mediterranean as longtime cast member Hannah Ferrier was fired for possessing Valium and a weed pen on the boat (photographic proof courtesy of bosun and Hannah foil, Malia White).
Now, Hannah is speaking about her disappointing departure as Captain Sandy Yawn clarifies her motivation for the firing. In short: even though Hannah took it personally, the necessary termination was anything but.
“What I witnessed with Hannah was a behavior change that was unlike any other. I said, ‘Something’s different, she’s not herself. She’s checked out,” Sandy shared on the Below Deck Med After Show, noting Hannah’s overnight panic attack and mood change after Kiko Lorran‘s firing. “Now, if I take her to sea knowing all this, it’s gross negligence on my part. At this point, maritime law takes over — it’s out of my hands. Having to share that with her was heart-wrenching for me. I took no pleasure in it. I have to follow protocol, that’s why structure’s in place. We have manuals. When you discover drugs on board, this is the course you take.”
Sandy explained how disciplinary action has been taken before against clients’ drug usage on the charter, but when her crew has drugs on board, it becomes a major liability.
“People smoke pot all over the world; people are prescribed Valium, [but] Hannah can’t do Valium and have a job on a boat, that’s not allowed,” she shared. “The minute you take that pill you are now my liability, you are no longer my asset, and my crew are my asset in case we have an emergency. We’re not allowed to take medication that alters our mind or puts us to sleep. We have to hear alarms, we have to be able to be woken up.”
The 55-year-old also noted the 24/7 camera surveillance happening on the boat, installed to assess certain action to be taken should a “catastrophic failure” happen. In addition, maritime law has a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to drugs, ultimately putting the captain’s livelihood at risk.
“If drugs were found on that boat, guess who gets the cuffs? Me. Not the person carrying the drugs, because I’m ultimately responsible,” Sandy explained. “Not only that, now the management company has footage. So when I go to court to defend my license — something I worked my entire life for — I now have footage of these drugs on board. How do I defend that?”
Although Sandy insists the protocol had nothing to do with her personal feelings toward her chief stew, Hannah felt otherwise, remarking on the judgment she felt throughout the whole process.
“When you say, ‘You have drugs on board’ and there’s a camera looking at me and a camera looking at you, there is a certain kind of stress that you go through as a human being when you’re in that situation,” she shared. “I think I was really shocked and frustrated like, I had gotten off the pill, I knew I was starting a family, I was settled. Like, you’re kind of making out like I’m some person running around doing drugs while I’m working. The ironic thing out of everything was I hadn’t even had any Valium!”
She continued, “She kept saying, ‘Oh, I don’t feel safe going to sea with her,’ and it’s like … but why? ‘Cause if it’s for me having anxiety, that came out seasons ago. I think was an excuse, I think it was a way she could say, ‘I’m gonna fire her and you can’t stop me this time.’ It just didn’t need to be like that.”
After Sandy delivered the bad news, Hannah went out on the dock to take a breather, talk to her boyfriend, and at least try and de-stress. Sandy followed her out to the dock to try and explain her side of the situation, but Hannah wasn’t having it.
“When I walked on that dock to see Hannah, it came from a place of compassion — that was it,” Sandy explained in another clip from the After Show. “When you invest in people and you spend four seasons with someone, of course it’s difficult. It’s not easy. It’s a loss, it’s not easy. But at the end of the day, I have to think about the ultimate goal.”
Sandy explained that when Hannah angrily told her that she “doesn’t care,” it really got to her, considering how much she was trying to express her compassion around the situation.
“That’s not accurate when someone says [that] I don’t care, I just wanted them fired — that’s not true. She goes, ‘You always wanted to fire me,’ [and I said] if that was the case, I would have done it my first season. Or my second season. Or my third season,” she joked, as clips of Hannah’s sometimes problematic behavior were shown. “I wanted her to know, it wasn’t me, I didn’t do this to her. The one thing that I said I will never lose … because I felt like a lot of the corporate people I worked for … they’re just so focused on the next thing that they forget you got a human being sitting in front of you.”
Hannah, however, wasn’t having Sandy’s reaching out, and she is seemingly still a bit flustered over the situation.
“She’s been wanting to get rid of me for a while and she’s got [Bugsy Drake] on board who she loves. She’s just trying to build her perfect little team,” she shared. “They’ve got enough footage for you to justify it. It just didn’t need to be like that, and I think a big part of me felt like after five seasons on the show I deserved a better end to my story on Below Deck than that.”